By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Mask issue raises unfiltered feelings

If the traveling salesmen of “The Music Man” were chugging into River City, they might be singing, “Masks at the dry goods store. Masks at the grocery store. Masks when you’re dining or you’re driving or you’re picking up prescriptions...

Masks in the church house. Masks in the schoolhouse. Masks at the office and the barber and the bank.”

Or are masks just trouble with a capital M?

Some say they’re too hot or too uncomfortable. Some say they interfere with breathing or talking. And there are those who insist they don’t work, anyway.
And masks and other facial coverings have become potent symbols, as well as safety devices, in the time of COVID-19.

The president goes without one, saying people need to see his face. A few supporters at his June 20 Tulsa rally wore masks, but most were happily bare faced.
Fox commentators sneer about masks — they aren’t needed, they say. CNN commenters scoff about skipping them. Both networks interview “experts” who support their positions.

Why is safety political?

Walk into any grocery store in McMinnville and you’ll see shoppers wearing masks — but they’re usually in the minority. 

“I’m not sick,” those without them say.

“How do you know?” mask fans counter. 

Last week the News-Register website carried a story about the governor’s suggestion that Oregonians wear masks — and ruled that people in certain counties wear them.

A commenter responded: “Is wearing a mask that much of a burden? ... I don’t see a big downside to wearing a mask, and the upside is you might spare someone the illness ... .”

Similar comments on social media often draw ire. This is America, writers say; we are free to choose what we wear. Besides, some say, “if we get sick, that’s our business.”

To which mask wearers often respond, “you’re hurting the community.”

Mask or no masks, there’s one thing they can agree on: “Don’t stand so close to me.”

But agreement doesn’t necessarily originate from the same source. For some, that’s a statement about the importance of social distancing in an effort to avoid the spread of virus. For others, it means “keep your opinions to yourself.”

Now that Gov. Kate Brown has weighed in, making masks mandatory, the debate will still rage.



Oh no, That song will now be stuck in my mind for days!

But I will say this about Starla and her writing: She's a a bang-beat, bell-ringing, big-haul, great-go, neck-or-nothing, rip-roarin', every-time-a bull's-eye reporter. :)


I've hung one from my rear view mirror just in case I need to stop somewhere.


It's interesting to see people who make the argument "My body my choice" twist themselves into a knot trying to force and shame people into wearing a mask and in some instances they become militant.

I needed some groceries so I went to Winco and as i approached the entryway I heard raised voices and when I got close enough to see what was happening a person who had a mask around her neck was yelling at someone not wearing a mask. Her claim was the person not wearing the mask was selfish to not wear a mask. I decided to ask her why her mask was around her neck and not on her face if this was such a concern? Her answer was "He couldn't understand me with the mask on".

Virtue signaling with this issue seems to be the rule.

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