printed 07/17/2020

Let’s speak plainly about covid-19 and mask wearing. People who think their rights and individual liberties are the same wherever they go are wrong. The freedoms they think they have do not extend fully to private property. They just don’t, no matter how many times, how loudly, or how angrily one says they do.

It’s as simple as “No shoes, no shirts, no service.”

As the Freedom Forum expressed it, “The Bill of Rights provides protection for individual liberty from actions by government officials.” That means a candy shop owner, for instance, can order anyone not abiding by the shop’s rules to leave, and enlist the aid of the police if necessary.

Why some people refuse to accept the simple premise that an owner has the right to make his or her own rules (with some exceptions), could be indicative of why the covid-19 pandemic is getting worse. A little thought is required.

The worst aspect of the objections to wearing a mask in businesses is that it is threatening thousands of livelihoods.

Over the last several days, numerous restaurants have closed voluntarily to respond to the threat of a covid-19 infection. At a time when these businesses are struggling to exist, much less make any kind of a living, shutting down operations for any duration is a huge sacrifice. And it is made out of concern for the well-being of the public, some members of which are clearly incapable of following suit.

Since last week, Worcester County health officials reported an increase of 44 cases of covid-19, twice as many as the week before, and even though these numbers are miniscule as compared to the surge in cases in the south and west, it’s still going in the wrong direction and that’s concerning.

Our businesses don’t just want to stay open, they must stay open to survive, and each new coronavirus case makes it that much harder to do.

So, please, whether you agree or don’t agree with these health-safety requirements, abide by them or go elsewhere. To be completely clear, show some respect for the people who are trying to serve you, despite a lack of staff, long hours and a depleted bank account, or get out of town.

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