Although there are still many Americans who believe the coronavirus pandemic is nothing more than a hoax, positive cases in Indiana, the U.S. and around the world continue to climb and, unfortunately, so does the number of deaths.
I can’t think of anyone who has not, at some point, raised complaints about the “new normal” people around the world are coming to grips with.
We all didn’t like the governmental orders to hunker down in our homes, watched local businesses close and all but non-essential activity come to an abrupt halt.
As state economies around the nation have started to reopen, there has been a surge in the number of coronavirus cases as people choose to ignore the guidelines for social distancing and the wearing of masks when indoors or outdoors in large gatherings.
Up until recently, the Indiana state government has, for the most part, done a decent job in reporting on actions taken during the pandemic.
One area that lacked transparency until recently is the required reporting of long-term care facilities and nursing homes on the number of positive cases and deaths.
It left family members of the residents of these facilities in the dark on whether their loved ones were safe.
But it certainly seems that Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb was slow to react to require the wearing of masks in the Hoosier State in public indoor spaces and outdoors when social distancing could not be observed.
Illinois mandated the wearing of masks on May 1, Michigan on June 10, Ohio on July 8 and Kentucky on July 9.
Holcomb’s order took effect Monday. The timing was at least suspect because it didn’t come until a day after President Donald Trump, who didn’t frequently wear a mask in public, encouraged Americans to wear masks the day before.
The response by both Trump and Holcomb, I guess, is better late than never.
Several Indiana cities and counties required the wearing of masks before the state took action. In fact, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has ordered bars and restaurants closed to inside dining until Aug. 12.
Of course, one problem with mandating the wearing of masks is the issue of enforcement.
Whom do you call if you go to a local store or restaurant and there are people not wearing masks?
Police departments don’t want to be tasked with enforcing the mandated mask requirement.
Local health departments in most counties don’t have the available staff or, I doubt, the legal authority to cite someone for not wearing a mask. Until a vaccine is developed to combat COVID-19, it certainly appears the prudent things to do are wash your hands frequently, wear a mask, socially distance and use sanitizer liberally.
Masks are being worn to protect the wearers and those they come in contact with for the foreseeable future.
Let’s hope people take heed to the warning so that businesses are not required to shut down once again.