Letter to the editor: Masks should be optional

Letter to the editor: Masks should be optional
June 26 16:57 2020 Print This Article

This letter to the editor about wearing face masks was contributed by Liz Jenkins: 

Should the City of Charleston mandate that you wear a mask? And why now?  What have we learned about COVID-19? It is a flu-like virus. What helps the flu to go away? Take vitamins, drink liquids, get out in the sun, take walks and get rest. That is really it! How do you keep yourself from getting the flu – wash hands, use hand sanitizers, don’t touch your face and give people space.

COVID-19 is nearly 99% curable. The actual fatality rate stands at about 0.5%. Most people just take meds and supplements at home. Very few COVID-19 positive cases are admitted to the hospital. The ones who have died mostly had other conditions that led to their death and then they tested positive. So the actual number of COVID-19 deaths is overstated!  We may have more testing done right now, but are the tests all really necessary? About 85% of the tests are negative, but the media doesn’t tell us that. And most of those who test positive are either without symptoms or recover quickly.

Wearing a mask can also reduce your oxygen levels and cause light- headedness and other health issues. What about people with disabilities? If people have disabilities, wearing masks can cause bigger problems for them. We must recognize that there are people who really can’t wear masks and they shouldn’t be discriminated against. In fact, businesses could be subject to large fines for not allowing people a no-mask option in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Masks should always be a choice!  Even infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said in February that only people who are “at risk” should consider wearing masks. The City of Charleston is crossing the line by making this mandatory! Additionally, the cloth across your face is not even a guarantee that you will not get sick or prevent those around you from being infected. So, is this just about controlling the people? 

Remember, our city government did not object to large numbers of protesters gathering in close proximity without masks on May 30 and subsequently. Why, then, will healthy people not be safe when they walk into Walmart or Target? If people can riot, break windows, loot and burn businesses in downtown Charleston with few arrests, why did Mayor John Tecklenburg threaten to arrest law-abiding citizens who only wanted to gather at the park with friends or family? Maintaining law and order should be the top priority for any jurisdiction.

I personally don’t want to wear a mask, because masks are uncomfortable and hard to breathe in. Thank God for our medical care professionals who do wear them while surrounded by patients with COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. They rely on medical-grade masks and other protective equipment to protect themselves! Since I don’t work under those conditions, I don’t need a mask (and probably couldn’t purchase a medical-grade mask even if I wanted one). 

I will not shop at stores that make me wear a mask, and I will not go into businesses that require masks. If I am with my family in public, we will not be wearing masks! My liberties in this city are being infringed! It is My Body, My Choice! I thought people screamed that before every election! You have the right to your own opinion. And I hope that the city officials who will be ticketing residents for mask violations will recognize that we live in a free country and not under totalitarian rule! We have the right under the Constitution to not have our liberties infringed. It is unbelievable that our government is actually going to fine people who are not wearing a mask. Is that a new form of taxation during a state of emergency? These are just some items that I think we all need to consider. 

In Conclusion, I don’t want the city to control what I do in my life. If I am not breaking a law, then this is my life, and I choose not to wear a mask. This isn’t about breaking a law – this is about a virus, a 99% recoverable virus, and I am not in the high-risk population! In closing, remember when you follow the masses, sometimes the “m” is silent. Don’t test positive for being sheeple. Research for yourself. Think for yourself. Don’t just follow the masses!

Liz Jenkins