Wearing a mask, as many studies suggest, can be, in fact, quite effective at slowing the spread of such diseases like the novel coronavirus that has terrorized our nation since the beginning of the year. And as such, many states and local jurisdictions have issued mask-wearing policies that require them for anyone leaving their home. However, if this man’s word is to be believed, we should also be wearing in our homes.
Yep. According to the head of the Texas Division of Emergency Management Nim Kidd, wearing masks inside our home and with our families is just as important as doing so outside and when in public.
In a recent interview with WOAI-TV’s Ryan Wolf in San Antonio, Kidd said, “We still need people to wear the mask out in public, we still need people to keep social distance and isolation. Ryan, the one thing I want to try to get across today is we need to do that when we’re in our homes also.”
Kidd continued, saying, “As you know, I’m a life-long San Antonian, grew up there, worked there for many years and I know how many multi-generational families that we have. While we believe the community is doing a great job of following the rules when they are outside the home, we really need to be thinking about doing the same thing when we’re inside the home.”
However, I don’t think his message is going to go over really well, particularly in a state that is currently having problems masks anywhere, let alone inside the walls of citizens’ own homes.
As you may have heard, Texas, like several other states, is currently experiencing quite a dramatic increase in confirmed cases. And as such, Republican Governor Greg Abbott has had to implement what many are referring to as a “soft” lockdown.
Essentially, this means that their phases of re-opening the state have been put on hold. Anything open can, for the most part, stay open with some limitations to hours and capacity. Similarly, businesses and industries that are still closed will remain so.
In addition, Abbott has also issued a statewide public mask order. He said of the mandate, “The public needs to understand this was a very tough decision for me to make. I made clear that I made this tough decision for one reason: It was our last best effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. If we do not slow the spread of COVID-19 the next step would have to a lockdown.”
And Texans have made it just as clear; a forced lockdown will not be taken well.
However, due to the nature of the mandate, enforcement of it is near impossible. Police, in an already turbulent situation, do not have the authority to arrest, detain, or jail anyone based on their refusal to wear a mask, according to CBS News.
Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphee explained this in a recent post on Facebook, saying, “We can’t spend our time running from place to place for calls about mask we can really do nothing about. I won’t and I don’t believe I can take any enforcement action on this order.”
And in reality, she is right. Masks are one of the last things police officers should have to worry about enforcing, whether inside or outside the home.
But that isn’t stopping Kidd from implying that in-home masking should be done.
While he really can’t say this would be required, he apparently has no problem trying to guilt-trip Texans into doing so for the sake of their family’s safety.
He asked the public, “Have you done the things to protect yourself and your family when you’re at home and when you have extended family coming to stay with you, are you doing everything you can to protect them and yourself from the virus?”
Kidd has even come up with a rather dire phrase to go with his message.
“Remember when we had to put out the ‘click it or ticket’ in order to get people to wear seatbelts? Now we should look at ‘mask it or casket?’”
But, while his cleverness has been noted, his timing in this message has far from hitting its mark. If people won’t wear masks when going to the grocery, how in the world can he expect them to wear them while sitting on the couch with their family?