Recently, a local businessman and attorney who is not involved in partisan politics or opinion letters sent a letter to the Key West Mayor and Commissioners. Following is an edited version:
Limiting or eliminating mandatory mask requirements would be counterproductive, dangerous, and would delay economic recovery.
It is undisputed that Covid 19 spreads by someone who is infected exhaling germs, causing others to inhale them, and this then spreads exponentially unless something prevents it. It’s not rocket science to conclude that putting a filter between you and the air around you prevents the spread. It’s simple logic.
If we want to have more businesses survive and flourish, and our lives be more normal, we have to conquer this disease. If masks help us get there, why would anyone reject requiring masks where people are interacting? If everyone (citizens, tourists, and politicians) acted responsibly and agreed to protect others and themselves, it would be easy to require masks. But the reality is too many of us don’t act reasonably and, therefore, an enforceable ordinance is required.
As to the idiotic idea that government doesn’t have the right to require its citizens to wear masks, any lawyer will tell you the Constitution specifically grants government the authority to pass laws to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens. That is why we pass seat belt laws, set speed limits, and establish other laws that protect us.
People don’t have the right to violate laws that are legally created. Our Mayor and Commissioners are caretakers of our community and have the obligation to take actions, no matter how unpopular, that protect Key West. Requiring masks and following science is one such necessary action.