It's time to speak out

Published January 8, 2021

By Tom Campbell

It is no exaggeration to say that the coronavirus is raging in North Carolina. And there too many - most who would describe themselves as patriots – who refuse to do the simple things that could help abate the spread, hospitalizations and deaths. By definition a patriot is defined as a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors. COVID-19 is a detractor if ever there was one, and those who refuse to mask citing their personal freedom are no patriots.
The Center for Disease Control just released information that 60 percent of the spread comes from people who are asymptomatic. They don’t know they are spreaders, but they are. DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen says we should assume we and those we come in contact with are spreaders. Until it is our turn to get the vaccine we need to slow down the 10,000 new cases a day and relieve the strain on our hospitals. I don’t know about you but I would be pretty angry to learn I couldn’t get a hospital bed because it was filled by someone who wouldn’t take the simple precaution of wearing a mask.
We’ve tolerated some of this behavior too long. The breaking point for me came when I learned about the actions of employees in the town of Robersonville, a once proud but now financially distressed community in Martin County. Some town employees adamantly, refuse to wear face masks, potentially endangering the public and state employees sent to aid the financial stress the community now faces. One was exposed to coronavirus and came to work anyway. Another berated those who do wear facial coverings.

“This is a rebellion that is just despicable,” State Auditor Beth Wood said. Wood, along with others say refusal should be grounds for firing. The policy from public agencies should be loud and clear that you have your rights to decide not to wear a mask and protect your neighbors, but public agencies and private enterprises have the same right to declare their employees will wear masks or else they cannot continue their employment.  

Let’s be clear. You have the right not to wear a mask if you like. But you don’t have the right to endanger me or anyone else with infection. It’s time to stop enabling unsafe behaviors. More of us need to speak out. The common good is more important.  

And that’s My Spin.