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Opinion: Mask requirement doesn’t challenge constitutional rights
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A Publix employee pushes shopping carts through the parking lot Tuesday, July 21, 2020, on Thompson Bridge Road. Beginning on Tuesday the supermarket requires customers to wear face masks. - photo by Scott Rogers

Almost every infectious disease medical doctor, and almost all of the known data worldwide regarding COVID-19, tells us masks are a front-line protection against contracting or passing on this virus, which is a potential deadly weapon non-mask wearers are pointing at everyone else. 

Cigarette smoking has been banned in almost every store, restaurant, business, public place. 

Constitutional rights have never been a legal or moral issue. Wearing seat belts while driving is mandatory, subject to tickets, fines or more -- no constitutional rights challenges. Cell phone holding, texting, etc., while driving -- mandatory ban with ticketing and fines for violation, no constitutional rights challenges. 

Mandatory wearing of masks in public buildings, private stores, offices, businesses, etc., etc, etc. should be mandated right now, immediately, by our governor.  

Entering these establishments is a privilege, not your right. Constitutional rights are not in question. A day late and a dollar short governor, or another way, many hundreds of deaths, that could have been saved, and a few months late. But late is better than never. 

Stephen H. Schwartz 

Gainesville 

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