BLAKELY, GA (WDHN) — As Alabamians adapt to the newly-extended mandatory mask ordinance, Early County residents still don’t have any mask mandates from Georgia Governor Brian Kemp.
However, Blakely’s mayor has a different opinion than Governor Kemp.
“Personally, and what I’ve learned from the science and the data, the masks are one of the most important barriers as far as keeping individuals safe from contracting the virus,” said Blakely Mayor Travis Wimbush. “As well as if we all adhere it and utilize it, though inconvenient it’s helpful to keep the spread down of the virus.”
Kemp and Ivey have dealt with mask mandates differently. Kemp even brought a lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms over her mask mandate.
“That kind of got political, because you don’t see a consistency, there were about 100 cities in Georgia that started the process of some form of mandatory mask-wearing even if not for the entire city or county, at least for public buildings they put those policies in place to protect the employees as well as the citizens,” Wimbush said.
One Blakely resident said she’s concerned by people who are politicizing the mask mandate.
“It’s bizarre, it really is a health issue, it’s not a political issue,” Blakely resident Lori Lewis said. “I don’t think that we should politicize it because too much that what we do, that goes on is politicized and I think we just need to take care of each other and take care of ourselves.”
And another resident shared her view on statewide mask mandate in Georgia.
“The way things are happening right now, I mean there are so many people that have died and if a mask can save someone’s life, just for the time you go into a grocery store or store, I think it’s very important that you wear one,” Blakely resident, Marie Hall said. “I think it should be mandated. I would rather wear a mask than be in the hospital with a ventilator.”
Mayor Wimbush tested positive for COVID-19 back in March. He says, at the time, there was not as much known about the virus as there is now.
He says that is why it is important to follow social distancing guidelines and wear a mask in public. He also encourages everybody to do what he calls a “Buddy Check.” He says there is a mental health aspect to COVID-19 that can lead to depression.