Perhaps the most personally contentious of all the questions currently pertaining to the coronavirus issue is the query of when and where to wear a face mask.
Different states, counties, and municipalities have all instituted different regulations. But a demographic trend is starting to emerge. Individuals in blue states where gullible people tend to trust all government counsel and data, and who are also personally not of the most courageous inclinations, feel mask requirements are for the public good. Thus from numerous press outlets there are reports of citizens residing in these locales wearing face masks at places like the beach and alone while driving their cars. Women tend to lead the way in this regard.
Conversely, red states and more rural areas tend to see mask requirements as based on faulty or manipulated data and as a useless example of government bumbling and Chicken Little regulation. Men tend to lead the way here.
The political ramifications are not surprising, as the GOP has a solid lead with men while Democrats lead with women.
In related news, Georgia GOP Governor Brian Kemp is halting cities and counties in his state legislating mandates that face masks be worn in public. Kemp has advocated that Georgia residents be encouraged to wear masks when suitable. His previous executive order supported mask wearing in public by individual judgment. When various counties went much farther than that last week, Governor Kemp’s office put out this new order.
“State, county, or municipal law, order, ordinance, rule, or regulation that requires persons to wear face coverings, masks, face shields, or any other Personal Protective Equipment while in places of public accommodation or on public property are suspended to the extent that they are more restrictive than this Executive Order.”
“Previous executive orders —and now this order— state no local action can be more or less restrictive than ours,” said Candice Broce, Chief Deputy Executive Counsel for the governor. “We have explained that local mask mandates are unenforceable. The Governor continues to strongly encourage Georgians to wear masks in public.”
Predictably, Democrat Savannah Mayor Van Johnson was the first Georgia mayor to ignore Kemp and order masks, even though, given the governor’s order, the mayor’s edict was illegal and useless. Any enforcement of his regulation would be quickly thrown out of court. But, that didn’t stop Johnson or other Democrat mayors in cities like Atlanta, Athens, and Augusta from following suit in the completely toothless regulation that has no enforcement mechanism.
Johnson hysterically wrote on Twitter late last week, as if Savannah was going through a dystopian apocalypse, “It is officially official. Governor Kemp does not give a damn about us. Every man and woman for himself/herself. Ignore the science and survive the best you can.”
It is officially official. Governor Kemp does not give a damn about us. Every man and woman for himself/herself. Ignore the science and survive the best you can.
In #Savannah, we will continue to keep the faith and follow the science. Masks will continue to be available!
— Mayor Van Johnson (@MayorJohnsonSAV) July 16, 2020
The mayor had said police would start writing $500 citations to businesses that didn’t enforce his measure. Local citizens and businesses, realizing the mayor’s words and threats were without legal standing, flagrantly flaunted disobedience of his mask requirement. No fines have been issued for the make-believe infraction since it was announced.