Ohio Governor Admits Mask Order Went a Bridge Too Far

This is the sort of interview that makes you wonder why it took so long for Governor DeWine to come to his senses. DeWine is definitely a seasoned politician who can read the tea leaves, though. He said that he did not want his latest order to impede his ability to communicate with Ohio constituents.

Since many of the issues that surround stay at home orders and mask orders lead to silly culture wars, this was DeWine’s way of nipping it in the bud. Any governor who tries to set rules about wearing masks in public is leaving themselves susceptible to all sorts of protests.

Everyone seems to think that these orders are an attack on their civil liberties but in reality, they are the exact opposite. Fortunately, we have faith in the American people and their willingness to do the right thing. Everyone wants to ensure the protection of their fellow man, even if they are not always sure about how to go about that task.

DeWine is backing away from the mask order, so that he can focus his attentions on the reopening of his state. The government should not be worried about enacting orders that are not going to lead anywhere positive. Lock down orders are often justified because they are the best way to communicate the severity of a crisis.

Models show that if 80 percent of people wear masks that are 60 percent effective, easily achievable with cloth, we can get to an effective R0 of less than one. That’s enough to halt the spread of the disease. Many countries already have more than 80 percent of their population wearing masks in public, including Hong Kong, where most stores deny entry to unmasked customers, and the more than 30 countries that legally require masks in public spaces, such as Israel, Singapore, and the Czech Republic. Mask use in combination with physical distancing is even more powerful.

That does not mean that they should remain in effect for all eternity, though. Social distancing was necessary at a certain point in time. It was the only way to flatten the curve. Unprecedented safety measures had to be taken. When the virus first started to make its way through the United States, there were still too many people who did not want to take the threat seriously.

Now that we are past the initial stages of the crisis, it is easy to see that most Americans are taking the pandemic seriously. Nothing lets people know that a threat is serious quite like shutting down all of the businesses that they frequent. Even when we are out in public, the social distancing protocols are still being met.

This is our new normal. Masks are being worn because we know that they help to reduce transmissions, not because we are being ordered to. The nation is now at the point where states and cities need to be focusing on the local level. If cases start to flare up, people will take the initiative to hunker back down before it is too late.

Ohio needs to stand behind their business owners and make sure that the rules are followed in these establishments. This is one of the most important components of the reopening process and DeWine seems to know that. Governors can now step back and allow citizens to take the necessary precautions.

There are cultural warriors who are still going to find a reason to complain during a global pandemic. Even when they are causing health problems for the people around them, they are still going to make everyone’s life more difficult. 90 percent of the country is not even willing to entertain the mask debate. There are a few bad apples who are looking to spoil it for the whole bunch, though.

Mask wearing is a crucial step that eliminates the need for further steps. Since everyone is looking to get back to their normal routines as soon as possible, masks are being worn without much prodding. The American people, by and large, are smart enough to realize that they need to be proactive during a global pandemic. Why wait for the government to tell you to do something that you can easily do yourself?

In the meantime, all we can do is hope that the protesters are willing to reconsider. How can they possibly turn a mask into a symbol of government oppression? No one is trying to deprive anyone of their rights as an American. We all need to be coming together to keep each other safe. In other words, this is not the time for pointless grandstanding that is only meant to stroke one’s ego.

Luckily for the citizens of Ohio, this is something that DeWine understands innately. He’s not going to waste his time stoking the fires of a cultural war. If people aren’t going to wear masks, there’s not much that a governor’s order is going to do to change their minds. DeWine is not going to get into a battle with the truthers who think that they know everything. A lighter touch will go a long way when it comes time to do battle with these wannabe freedom fighters.