So, it’s been mandated. If you’re an Alabama resident, you’re no longer morally obligated to wear a mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a requirement called on by your Gov. Kay Ivey.

As confirmed positive cases continue to spike across the state in the past two weeks, the mask ordinance went into effect last Thursday. Anyone out in public, in settings where they cannot maintain a six-foot distance from others not of the same household, a face covering is required.

The ordinance is set to expire when the Alabama Safer at Home health order ends on July 30th, though with the trend in cases, we might assume we’re in this for the long haul. Whether the mandate does expire in another week, or whether it’s extended for another 30 days, we should heed Gov. Ivey’s words with serious caution.

The virus is real, and for some it is deadly. It is for these most vulnerable citizens, we should be willing to cover up our mouths and nostrils. Although a little uncomfortable, we suffer this mild inconvenience to protect those who may not fare so well should they contract the virus.

Scientists and doctors around the country have released graphics, shared videos and released statements regarding masks’ effectiveness is slowing the spread of the disease, and because some people may be asymptomatic without ever knowing they’re contagious, for the safety of everyone, every person in a social setting should wear a mask.

COVID-19, like the flu, is communicable disease, meaning it will take a community to eradicate or slow the spread of the virus. We see statements every year from health professionals and school officials begging parents to keep their sick child home during flu season or advocating for the flu shot. We shouldn’t treat this mask mandate any differently. If we want to get serious about ridding our communities of the coronavirus, we must take advice from health professionals seriously. Wear the mask.

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