Leaders Portsmouth: Your Mask or Your Money
The Leaders of Portsmouth (LOP) have jumped on the pandemic wagon of using fear and a threat to make residents wear mandated masks. Why do people in power use punishment as a motivator? If you don’t obey our ordinance—then we will take some of your money. COVID-19 has already wreaked economic havoc, but the LOP wants to take more of your hard-earned income if you don’t comply. And where does the money from fines go?
Scioto County is not Franklin County. Portsmouth is not Columbus. Appalachia is not a metropolis.
An ordinance is not a police-enforced law. No pandemic police patrol in Portsmouth.
What if a citizen refuses to wear a mask? What if a citizen refuses to exit a building or a store? Are the employees of the Portsmouth City Health Department trained in violence de-escalation or self-defense? Are these employees supposed to spy on businesses or ask citizens to spy on each other? Will they use rulers to measure 6 feet distances?
What if a citizen has a medical condition the exempts a mask, but refuses to disclose her/his diagnosis? The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) required the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop regulations protecting the privacy and security of certain health information.
To fulfill this requirement, HHS published what is commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Security Rule. The Privacy Rule, or Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, establishes national standards for the protection of certain health information. Visit www.hhs.gov.
Have the LOP opened up potential lawsuits when residents refuse to comply with the new ordinance? Who decides what medical condition is exempt? What’s the policy when residents refuse to comply? What happens when an individual refuses to show identification?
The LOP needs to trust that citizens of Scioto County and Portsmouth are concerned about COVID-19 and will choose to wear masks in public places temporarily. Individuals with compromised immune systems and health conditions must take personal responsibility by staying home during the resurgence of the virus. The LOP does not need to turn Portsmouth into an alarmist’s area of pandemic panic.
And by the way, thumbs up to Mayor Johnson for wanting to give citizens the opportunity to express opinions on a mask ordinance before voting. Thumbs down to Solicitor Hass for not listening to the people first.
“In times of crisis, cooperation increases. Freedoms are always related to our ability to cooperate. It turns out when people cooperate on a voluntary basis, they’re actually really, really good at reducing the threat from pandemics and from pathogens more generally,” said Markus Kemmelmeier in reference to his recent study. Visit www, royalsocietypublishing.org.
“The best leaders are humble enough to realize their victories depend upon their people.” –John C. Maxwell
Leaders Portsmouth: Your Mask or Your Money-Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Scioto County.