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Wearing a face mask is really a sign of respect

Local 24 News political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shares his point of view on Shelby County considering requiring masks in public.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Should Shelby County residents be required by law to wears masks in public? The county commission had considered an ordinance mandating that residents and visitors to the county wear a mask in all public areas. But over the weekend, county attorney Marlinee Iverson sent commissioners a written opinion on the proposal. She said the local health department has the sole responsibility to dictate such a policy – and health officials are recommending masks, but are not requiring them. So the answer is no.

This underscores the sad reality that wearing masks to protect against the coronavirus pandemic has become a divisive political issue – rather than a matter of public health. One problem has been confusion around the necessity of wearing masks. Early on, U.S. health officials said masks were not needed unless a person was sick. That later changed as experts learned more about how the virus spreads. But our national leaders, notably President Trump and Vice President Pence, continued to send opposing messages when they would not wear a mask in public. Then came those ridiculous protests at state capitals around the country – in which all of the safety precautions were ignored.

Here’s my take. Wearing a mask is really a sign of respect. It says you care about your own health and that of others around you. Because despite what the protesters are saying, we are all in this together. And that’s my point of view.

Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 CDC continues to study the spread and effects of the novel coronavirus across the United States.

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