Have you heard the good news?
70% of Ohioans who tested positive, or probable, for COVID-19 since Jan 2nd, 2020, have been presumed recovered by the Ohio Department of Health. (With 14k active cases.) Everyday hundreds more are added as recovered.
Less than 600 Ohioans are currently in the hospital from coronavirus state-wide.
This is fantastic news!
Just three short months ago we were calmly being told that Ohio would suffer catastrophic loss of life, on the order of hundreds of thousands. Our Public Safety personnel were tasked with the grim reality of planning mass graves and directing city resources through difficult and terrifying times. We were told our children were going to die, and we must shut down everything to prevent our medical resources from being overloaded.
All of that disaster was avoided. And yet…
Even as state-wide deaths from the virus continue to fall into the single digits, instead of cautiously celebrating our triumph over disaster, we are pushing a new burden on our neighbors in the form of mask mandates. Certainly, we can remain vigilant and continue our hard earned new habits of good health without punishing our neighbors, right?
Every resident in cities requiring masks have been accused of violating the Ohio Revised Code section 3707.08, found guilty without process and sentenced to wear a mask anytime they are outside their own home.
There is no way to appeal this extrajudicial punishment, or prove that you have not violated the ORC.
This is a complete abdication of due process, violation of fifth amendment rights under the US Constitution, guarantees in our Ohio Constitution, and an overreach on the part of local government.
No matter how you feel about the safety or efficacy of wearing a mask during a time of concern regarding illness, it should always be a warning bell when any government, federal, state or local abridges your rights to due process, without public discussion or way to meaningfully affect policy, or appeal, to force compliance with unpopular policies.
(Appealing a citation after the fact is not relevant, as you are now forced to prove your innocence, a reversal of hundreds of years of American legal jurisprudence.)
It would be appropriate for any government to issue advisories and guidance, encouraging compliance with informed consent, of the risks for all sides of any issue.
As libertarians we strongly encourage everyone to take personal responsibility for themselves and their actions that may affect others.
Research the issues at hand and make decisions that are best for yourself, your family, your neighbors and your communities.
We have found in the last three months that our govts have whipsawed back-and-forth between one narrative and another, calmly lying to us and withholding facts, and then admitting they lied to us and admitting they withheld facts, all while demanding that we believe them and follow their latest demands unquestioning.
The Libertarian Party of Ohio is not taking a position on wearing a mask or not wearing a mask. That is always a decision to be held to the individual.
We strongly encourage local governments to avoid mandating health decisions for their residents. Blanket mandates forcing everyone to comply with one or another policy will always have profound consequences for the entire community.
During the initial period of concern with the novel coronavirus we regularly used the #WearAMaskOhio hashtag (Apr 2 – Apr 22) on the Franklin County Libertarians Facebook page. We did this to encourage our friends and neighbors to look into the opportunity of wearing masks as a preventative measure to reduce the spread of what was projected at the time would be a devastating and catastrophic illness leading to the death of hundreds of thousands of Ohioans.
Those initial projections have long since been discredited, the following projections were discredited, and the most recent projections were just thrown out the window.
Even as we are debating mask mandates that affect millions of Ohioans the federal Center for Disease Control is on the verge of removing COVID-19 from epidemic status, falling under 7% of fatalities nationwide. In mid-May the CDC quietly pegged this coronavirus at an infection fatality rate of 2.6%, falling in the range of danger for seasonal influenza, 1% to 3%. Ohio has been on an 11 week downward trend for deaths from, or with, covid-19 despite the dramatic increase in testing and positive cases, and hospitalizations have fallen steadily also.
We would never discourage anyone from wearing a mask if they wish, we hope that everyone is informed of unlikely, but real, risks associated with use.
Be kind, wear a mask if you want, mind your own business, keep up all good habits equally.
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html
- COVID-19 is close to losing its epidemic status in the U.S., according to the CDC: https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/coronavirus/covid-19-close-losing-its-epidemic-status-us-according-cdc
- Fact check: CDC’s estimates COVID-19 death rate around 0.26%, doesn’t confirm it: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/06/05/fact-check-cdc-estimates-covid-19-death-rate-0-26/5269331002/
- Ohio Department of Health COID-19 Dashboard: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/dashboards