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Our opinion: Keep mask wearing sensible

Let’s be clear — wearing masks in public areas where one can’t social distance makes sense.

No matter how much we trust our neighbors, it’s not possible to know for sure if they have the novel coronavirus or not, so it’s safer to simply wear the mask when we’re out in our communities.

We don’t want to see a sudden spike that forces Warren County to close its doors again, so wearing a mask is also a way to protect our non-profits and businesses who depend on our patronage.

Now that we have that piece of common sense out of the way, Gov. Tom Wolf and Dr. Rachel Levine, state health secretary, need to remember that not every Pennsylvania citizen lives in a densely populated city like Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. In small cities like Warren or our smaller townships and boroughs, the phrasing Wolf and Levine used last week is nothing more than fear-mongering.

“With this order, signed under Dr. Levine’s authority under the Disease Prevention and Control Act, masks must be worn whenever anyone leaves home,” states the release sent from the governor’s office.

Give us a break.

Wolf and Levine would have been better off simply stating common sense. If you’re in a place where you can’t social distance, wear a mask. It’s that simple.

Sending out a news release saying a mask must be worn the minute someone steps out of their house does nothing more than raise the hair on the back of peoples’ necks who have long ago grown tired of their elected government officials treating citizens more like children than grown adults.

On many things, Wolf is more moderate than his New York counterpart. But for all his bluster and bloviation, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has at least had the common sense not to try to tell New Yorkers they have to put on a mask the minute they set foot outside their front door.

Wolf and Levine have precious little credibility with conservative areas of this state. Trying to tell people they have to wear a mask when no one is within 300 feet of them strains what little credibility they have left.

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