The hashtag #Maskup is circulating, and the CDC says it’s what we need to do to halt the Pandemic. This is not about you and your rights. It’s about us and our safety. You are part of an us. That’s what the mandate is all about. A deadly disease has killed more than a quarter of a million people in our country. It’s not up for debate. So, why talk about constitutional rights? Masking up seems so simple a request. It’s like wearing a seatbelt. That is a law, too. And people fought that one, but it saved a lot of lives. Not driving while impaired is also a law. That one was also controversial, but has saved thousands of lives.
What makes a law constitutional
I looked this up. What makes a law (or a national mandate like #maskup) constitutional is that it is in the public interest. You know we can’t just do anything you want, right? There are rules we have to follow. In terms of public health, it’s pretty simple.
It turns our that constitutional rights are subject to conditions. Whether the right to liberty, speech, assembly, freedom of movement or autonomy, all of these rights are held on several conditions. The most basic and important of these conditions is that our exercise of rights must not endanger others (and in so doing violate their rights) or the public welfare.
This means that you can exercise your freedoms as long as they don’t hurt or risk the lives of other people. So here we are in a global pandemic in which a serious and deadly communicable disease can be transmitted by asymptomatic carriers.
This condition justifies a wide range of reasonable restrictions on our liberties. Believing otherwise makes the Constitution a suicide pact – and not just metaphorically.
#maskup is simple
Wash your hands and wear a mask when in public. Physical distance from other people. What could be more sensible? I look back to an article I wrote in the early days. Don’t panic, it’s not the end of the world. A few months later as the disease traveled across the country and more people died, I thought of taking the article down because it did seem like the end of the world. Now now eight months later, there is hope for recovery.
What have we been doing at ROR
Here in Florida, we live in a community with many older people, and we wanted to protect them and ourselves. It was painful to cancel family birthday parties in the spring and summer, and we didn’t go on vacation. It’s more painful now that we’re missing the pleasure of family Thanksgiving. Our Connecticut family members are recovering from the virus in Conn. We can’t risk going there. Lindsey is in California, and a lockdown in is place there now, and here. We’ve been masking up since January. We spent the summer creating a fun recovery store for your holiday gifts. And yes, we have masks and fun chains to accessorize your masks. Stay safe.