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Be smart, patient a little longer

Plattsburg Press Republican

People may have their differences with Gov. Andrew Cuomo these days, but they should at least be grateful he hasn’t removed the mandate requiring that masks be worn in public places.

The stories we’re all hearing about altercations over masks around the country are frightening and, frankly, utterly baffling. How can one human being act so dismissive and resentful of another’s desire — and, usually, right — to remain safe in the face of this deadly scourge?

Texas, Iowa, Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana and Mississippi have removed their mask mandates, presumably favoring political expediency over scientific reality.

We should be grateful to live in a state that abides by the wisdom of scientific research.

Here, the law requires everyone over age 2 who can medically tolerate a face covering to wear one when in public if unable to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others. A face covering is required at all times when riding public transportation, such as the subway, ferry, bus, taxis and car services.

Some people who have been fully vaccinated may feel that that releases them from the requirements of that law. Not so.

And almost as important as the law is the social obligation we should all feel toward one another. How would a person sharing a store aisle know the other person has had their shots? The person without the mask would naturally be imposing discomfort – if not disease – on anyone coming near.

And even the scientists have not yet said the shots are a guarantee you cannot pass the disease along to someone else. We know the chances are very good you won’t catch it, but we aren’t sure whether you can transfer it, even if showing no symptoms.

In some areas, people who resent the order to wear a mask have had shocking, violent, even fatal confrontations with workers in stores and other places who are trying to enforce the mask requirement.

People have been punched, stabbed or shot for telling shoppers they must wear a mask or not enter the establishment.

Therefore, some stores are not enforcing their rules beyond offering reminders to those who come in without a mask.

Some shoppers continue to refuse to accept that COVID-19 is a dreadful disease preying on the unmindful. They insist that the 500,000-plus Americans who have died are either a figment of an overreaching government’s imagination or an outright lie.

In any case, they so disdain a government trying to be protective of us all that they refuse to cooperate. In doing so, these people infuriate onlookers but don’t care.

As medical experts have said, those outliers are extending the crisis and the risk for the rest of us – imprisoning us in a state of terror that could be evaporating if we all just followed the rules a little longer.

Cases are on the rise again. Please don’t act as if we’ve won the war. Many battles have yet to be fought, and some of them aren’t getting much easier.

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