Skip to comments.Wolf and Levine want it ‘socially unacceptable’ to be caught without a face mask
Posted on 07/02/2020 7:16:15 PM PDT by lightman
Having people look at you, knowing they consider you a lawbreaker and a health threat.
Looking at yourself, knowing you risked passing a disease that could kill someones grandparent or chronically-ill spouse.
Those apparently are the harshest punishments Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine hope to impose on violators of their new order to wear face masks in most indoor and outdoor public settings to help block the spread of COVID-19.
They were pressed this week on exactly what penalties apply to those who violate the order, such as someone entering a store without a mask and refusing to put one on if asked to do so by management. Wolf stated repeatedly he has no expectations that state police or local police or anyone else will enforce the order. Neither he nor Levine even knew the exact penalty if someone were prosecuted.
We just need to make it socially unacceptable to do that, because you are putting everyone else at risk, Levine said.
Wolf steadfastly insisted that people will do the right thing for the right reason just as they do when they stop for stop signs, refrain from smoking inside buildings or abide by rules to wear a shirt and shoes inside establishments.
I think theres been much too great a focus on whats the law enforcement mechanism and not enough on whats in my self-interest, he said, likening it to the safety reasons that cause people to wear seatbelts.
Pennsylvanians have lived for months under an order to wear face masks in most public settings. With COVID-19 cases rising in the state, Wolf and Levine toughened the rule this week with a new order requiring a mask in most outdoor settings when its impossible to consistently stay at least six feet from others. There are exceptions for things such as breathing conditions or work that would be hazardous while wearing a mask.
The new order to wear masks raises assorted questions, such as how far businesses are expected to go in enforcing the order within their premises, and whether they could be held responsible for violators.
Michael Dimino, a law professor at Widener Law Commonweath, said there are good arguments on both sides regarding whether Wolf truly has authority to impose the order, and whether a prosecution would hold up in court. It would take a court case to know for certain, he said.
Dimino likened Wolfs order to what he called a soft law that conveys the idea that something is wrong but offers little in the way of punishment.
The governor is trying to encourage people to behave in a certain way and hes hoping the public will pressure each other to conform, he said. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesnt.
With Wolf saying he doesnt plan to enforce the law, he risks being accused of selective prosecution if he ever does, said Dr. Robert Lennon, a Penn State College of Medicine associate professor who also has a law degree.
I appreciate that the governor is in a tight spot, Lennon said. If he tries to enforce it, people will be up in arms. But if he doesnt enforce it, its just kind of a nothing burger.
According to Dimino, a business owner has no reason to fear being held responsible if a customer refuses to wear a mask.
A more plausible fear, he said, would involve a non-mask wearing customer coughing on people, and another customer saying they became infected at the business and suing the owner. Dimino noted it would be a tall task to prove an infection took place at a specific time and location.
Interestingly, a business could easily have someone arrested for not wearing a mask, according to Dimino. If a store owner said all customers must wear a mask, and someone refused, the owner could order the person to leave the store, which is private property. If the person refused to leave, the owner could call police and have the customer arrested. But the crime would be trespassing -- not violating the face mask order, he said.
Meanwhile, businesses are stressing over how to support the law while avoiding confrontations with defiant customers while at the same time doing right by customers who wear a mask and expect to be kept safe.
I dream about masks at night because it has become such a pressure source on our society, said Andrea Karns, vice president of sales and marketing for Karns Foods.
Signs at the entrances of Karns stores tell shoppers they must wear a mask. People who cant wear a mask because of a health reason or some other exception arent expected to wear one, she said.
Those who dont wear a mask are offered a free one and asked to put it on. People who refuse are asked to leave. The company wants only managers to deal with people who dont wear a mask, Karns said.
She said, confrontations are a very real fear. They have occurred over the past few months when team members have asked shoppers to wear a mask. I have to imagine that it will happen in the future not just to us but to any business that makes that request.
Karns said its frustrating that the governor is saying everyone must wear a mask while at the same time saying there are no plans to enforce the order.
We are working harder today then we were yesterday on putting mask enforcement in place but our team members are put in a trying situation. Very bold statements are being made regarding the requirement of wearing masks and support in enforcing those would be welcome, she said.
The medical schools Lennon and a colleague, Dr. Lauren Van Scoy, are involved in research looking at the willingness of people across the county to follow the various public health recommendations related to COVID-19. They are finding it varies according to things like geography and ethnic community.
Looking at survey results from thousands of Pennsylvanians in March, Van Scoy was shocked by how political the responses were regarding even things like hand washing and social distancing. Since then it has grown considerably more political, with masks becoming the newest partisan flashpoint.
Both researchers stressed that elected officials such as President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who sometimes seem supportive of masks but are often seen without them, send a mixed message that undermines the scientific and public health reasons for wearing masks.
Asked whether, in times such as these, sound and necessary public health strategy can still prevail in the United States, Lennon said, It doesnt help that were in a federal election cycle.
Tommie and the Trannie elbow bump fearlessly because their nasty nostrils are muzzled.
I see it as someone who loves freedom.
Please ping me with articles of interest.
FReepmail me to be added to the list.
Science says that Masks of all types don’t stop the spread of a flu.
It is socially unacceptable to dress as a makeup monstered femmefaced draq queen and wrestle with small children in a library.
It is socially unacceptable to promote Communism and deny the 100,000,000 dead by Leftists’ hands in the 20th century.
It is socially unacceptable to loot and burn other peoples’ businesses and violently attack cars on freeways.
Dr. Levine wants to tell YOU what is and is not socially unacceptable! But please, don’t ‘mis-gender’ him if you see him.
I see the fuzzy "order" (along with today's equally fuzzy 14 quarantine for travelers from 15 states) as a diversion tactic to try to get people to ignore the dynamic duos geriatric genocide.
Pennsylvania leads the nation in the percentage of COVID deaths coming from nursing homes...a whopping 68.4%
New York is next at 49%.
So they sic all kinds of Karens on them.
Van Scoy was shocked by how political the responses were...
Once the rat governors all kowtowed to the rioters, the farce of wearing masks was exposed. Now the mask dictate is purely political.
screw you aholes
Do like Pelosi does.....she wears them around her neck until the camera’s are rolling r someones looking.
I was at a Pennsylvania State Park today, one of the larger parks, and it has a swimming area with a grassy “beach.” There were hundreds of people there and I counted maybe three masks. I say maybe because two of them might have been the same woman seen at two different times.
US normal people would like it to be socially unacceptable to pretend you’re a woman.......
Virtue signalling has become the rage. This is a curse on genteel society.
Well, in Levine’s case, I’m all for a mandatory mask. No one should be forced to look at that perverse face.
Is that MISTER Levine ???
Great interview here of Pittsburgh’s Dr. Cyril Wecht by KDKA’s Wendy Bell both have had enough of the hysteria.
very well phrased, very useful
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