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An open letter to the community about masks

This is part of our Community series. Submit your story here.

The mask mandate was voted into place in Fort Mill on Wednesday, July 8, and in Rock Hill on Friday, July 10. Many people are happy to see the Town taking safety precautions to keep everyone safe, however, I also see people upset because they believe:

  • masks do more harm to your health

  • people have rights and the freedom to make their own decisions

  • the economy will be ruined

  • only sheeple will wear masks

I've seen these reasons in the comments on the Town of Fort Mill's Facebook post (read the full ordinance here) regarding the mask mandate. It's unnerving to see our beautiful, once supportive community fight on social media over a world-wide pandemic and actually call each other sheeple.

I'm not writing to say who or what is correct or not correct. Plain and simple - none of us know what's right. But why are we fighting over something as simple as wearing a piece of fabric over your face when you run into the grocery store, or walk 20 feet to your table at a restaurant?

Fort Mill is obviously not trying to ruin its own economy; their goal is to keep residents safe. Same as when restaurants and stores close down, or offer masks and hand sanitizers to customers. They want to keep you as safe as they can, and right now, these are the ways they know how to.

Don't let a mask stop you from supporting our local economy. We can still support them by ordering online, getting takeout, or visiting in-person while wearing a mask. If you don't want to wear a mask, then don't go out. If you're still going to go out and not wear one, fine - but please be mindful of others who are trying to social distance and keep safe.

Your argument may be that those people shouldn't be out then. But they are because they want to continue safely supporting the economy. Or perhaps they can't afford to have groceries delivered or don't know who to ask to help shop for them.

We're all doing the best we can. Let's support our town, its people, and its decisions.

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