Mayor speaks out

Published 2:38 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2020

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Landrum mayor posts about wearing masks

LANDRUM—Landrum Mayor Bob Briggs took to social media over the weekend to voice his opinion on wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The opinion, posted on Facebook on July 4 is titled, “To wear or not wear.”

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Briggs said wearing a mask is a small inconvenience with big results.

“Some say that requiring people to wear a mask is an infringement on their personal rights,” Briggs said. “For those that subscribe to this thinking, I would just point out that you are required to do many things that you may not want to do when living in a civil society.”

Briggs mentioned being required to wear a seat belt; wearing a shirt and shoes when entering a store or restaurant; paying taxes; going through metal detectors to enter many public buildings; checkpoints before boarding a plane and wearing safety equipment when working in certain conditions.

“Are these things inconvenient?” Briggs asked. “Are they an infringement on your person rights? Requiring the wearing of a face mask during a pandemic to control or eliminate the problem is not something new or unreasonable.”

Briggs said the country has just endured a 3-month shutdown of the economy to mitigate the pandemic and it was working but it wasn’t sustainable because the country needs to open for business and people need to be working.

“To require the wearing of face masks is a small inconvenience if it allows us to get back to normal until the pandemic is eliminated,” he said. “Other countries have required the use of face masks and most are on a downward trajectory as their infection rate decreases and they return to normal.”

Briggs asked what if?

“What if we don’t wear masks and we find ourselves in another shutdown mode in the coming months, more folks out of work and businesses closing, some for good,” Briggs said. “Or what if we do wear masks and are inconvenienced for a few months but we reopen all the businesses, folks go back to work, the economy rebounds and we eliminate the pandemic and return to normal.”

Local businesses have been split on requiring patrons to wear facemasks after North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper approved an executive order requiring them. Although South Carolina does not require facemasks currently, some cities, including Spartanburg and Greenville are requiring them in public. No local town has enacted any ordinances requiring facemasks, but there are some businesses requiring them before entering.