"Welcome to nazi germany columbus. Never has a country been this oppressed and stripped of their rights and dignity until this fake covid crap hit us this year."
These remarks by Landon Cooper were one of dozens of comments posted on The Telegram's Facebook page in response to our story published online Tuesday night following the passing of a mask mandate by the Columbus City Council.
The mandate took effect Saturday and violators will have to pay a $25 fine.
Like everywhere in America, masks and mask mandates have been the subject of hot debate, including in Columbus. The meeting brought out people with all sorts of opinions and even the Council itself was split. The mandate passed 4-4, with Mayor Jim Bulkley casting the final vote in favor of the mandate to break the tie.
What's most interesting about the whole face mask debate is that it is an issue at all. It shouldn't be about politics; it's about people. Masks work. Scientists have provided evidence that they do.
The Centers for Disease and Control recommends that everyone wears a mask over their nose and mouth when in public because it can help slow the spread of COVID-19. Mask-wearing helps infected people - and those who don’t even know they are infected - from spreading respiratory droplets to others when they cough, sneeze, breathe or talk.
Nobody said masks stopped the spread completely; it slows the spread down.
So why are people acting like this is such a big deal? And why is it that most kids in our community are handling wearing face masks in school nearly eight hours each day better than adults?
It's simple. If we can slow the spread of this virus and keep our businesses and schools open by temporarily being inconvenienced because we are wearing a piece of fabric over faces, let's do it.
Hopefully, a vaccine is around the corner and we can get back to some normalcy as soon as possible.
That's better than our current trend of doing the same old thing then having to work from home and go into "shutdown mode" again like earlier this year.
This isn't a liberal agenda or a Republican agenda - it should be a community agenda.
Our mayor and councilors who voted in favor of this mandate should be applauded for doing what our governor has failed to do.
COVID may not result in you experiencing severe symptoms, but to say it isn't real or that there is nothing to worry about is insulting to those residents who have shared with us their stories of staying in the hospital because of how bad COVID was for them. It also ignores the advice of our doctors, nurses and other health care professionals who are on the frontlines 24/7 caring for others. It's insulting to the thousands of people that have lost their lives because of this virus and their families who lost a loved one.
And what about your freedom? Your freedom can be limited, especially if that freedom has the potential to harm others. Drunk driving laws are just one such example.
You may not be severely impacted by the virus if you get it, but everyone's symptoms are different and there's no way to know. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Here's another gem Mr. Cooper posted on The Telegram Facebook page:
"America has become nazi germany and with what was passed tonight, columbus has become a concentration camp. This is what happens when a bunch of liberal democrats run our town …"
Honestly, if anyone agrees with that statement, you obviously have no idea what oppression actually is.
Wear a mask, save lives and this, too, shall pass.