Infectious Disease Specialist: Wearing Face Masks is ‘Part of Being a Good Citizen’

Businesses put in a "tough spot" when customers don't wear them.

Face masks are quickly becoming a part of our day-to-day lives. 05 27 2020 To Mask Or Not To Mask Pkg 6

But not everyone wears them, even though they are required in most public places like stores and restaurants.

“There is a lot of positives that came out of this weekend and a lot of lessons learned,” said Nikki Devitt, President of the Petoskey Area Chamber of Commerce.

One of those lessons learned is not everyone wants to wear the required face mask.

“It puts everybody in a tough spot,” Devitt said. “When you read the executive order, we are required to wear masks, but it’s not enforceable and that’s tough.”

This often leaves businesses as the face mask enforcers.

“Many of them are going to stand a harder line and say you know, ‘No mask, you can’t come in for the health and safety of my community, my employees and you,’ and that’s tough for a business owner,” Devitt said.

As experts have learned more about COVID-19, the guidance on wearing a mask has changed.

“I know it’s frustrating for people, but we are learning as we go, this is a novel coronavirus,” said Dr. Karen DenBesten, an infectious disease specialist at McLaren Northern Michigan.

She says anytime we go somewhere and there are other people there we should have on a mask, but she says this has little to do with protecting ourselves.

“It’s part of being a good citizen and caring about other people,” Dr. DenBesten said. “Other people wear a mask to protect you, you wear a mask to protect other people so if you have COVID, you’re not spreading it.”

She says just about everyone should have on some sort of face covering.

“There really are very, very few people who can’t wear a mask,” Dr. DenBesten said.

Devitt says at the end of the day we should all be kind.

“Our safety is their (business owners) priority, so our kindness should be our priority back,” Devitt said. “When you go out, be safe, be kind and be patient.”

Categories: Coronavirus