Editorial

You are free to wear a mask.

A federal judge in Florida has ruled continued requirements for protective face coverings on commercial airlines are not legal.

Of course there is a lot of disagreement around the ruling and the case is being appealed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still says masks should be worn on mass transit and the federal government is concerned about a dangerous court precedent that could be later interpreted to mean that public safety measures cannot be enforced.

Whether or not the courts eventually say mask mandates can be enforced, anyone can still choose to wear a protective mask while traveling or in other situations where they might feel vulnerable.

While there have been a lot of discussions, debates and even fights around individual rights and the freedom to refuse government mandates on mask wearing, it should be abundantly clear that individuals clearly have the right to wear a mask if they so choose.

We encourage all of our readers to kindly respect that right.

Especially the elderly, families with children too young to be vaccinated and those who are immunocompromised may choose to continue to wear masks for quite some time to come.

Somewhere around 400 Americans are still dying everyday.

Those who continue to try and protect themselves and their families from COVID-19 and all its variants by wearing a mask in public should never be belittled, ridiculed or harassed.

Wearing a mask should not be a political statement and should not be viewed that way either.

Our vulnerable populations are conservative, liberal and everything in between.

Respect is a two-way street and those who have argued for the past couple of years that their individual rights to not wear a mask were being violated should be the most understanding and considerate of those who now make the personal choice to continue wearing protective face masks, especially when traveling.

Being fully vaccinated, boosted and wearing N95 or KN95 masks are still the best tools for staving off infection.

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