The Lawton city council voted today (07-17-20) in favor of a mandatory face mask order. The new ordinance will require all citizens to wear a mask or covering while in public. With the recent increase of positive COVID-19 cases in the state and county the city of Lawton is taking steps to help slow or stop the spread of the Coronavirus.

During the meeting an update was given from health care professionals with the current COVID-19 cases in Lawton, Fort Sill and Comanche county. At this time there are 212  cases locally throughout Comanche county. That number is expected to rise, especially  if strict adherence to the CDC familiar guidelines and recommendations isn't followed. This includes social distancing, proper hygiene, hand washing, stringent sanitation practices and the wearing of face masks while in public, particularly indoors. Plus more and more stores are already requiring them to enter and shop.

Throughout the meeting the council spoke with experts in both health and economics to discuss the proposed ordinance and it's potential effects. What would happen if we did nothing vs. requiring masks. Almost all the doctors and health care experts, even economic advisors agreed that it would be far worse to do nothing, or not require face masks. By issuing this order we can keep most, if not all our local and area businesses open and operating. Another shutdown would be catastrophic to our local economy, not to mention what it would do to families and workers.

Citizens of Lawton were also invited to give their opinions and feedback at the meeting. Most spoke against the mandatory mask ordinance and verbalized concern as to how it would be enforced and if it would actually do anything to combat COVID-19. Agree or disagree the ordinance is now in place and must be followed.

The face mask issue is a very hot topic. Both sides are strongly opinionated and there are relevant points to the arguments on each side. I don't like masks and have doubts about their effectiveness. I haven't made a habit of wearing one, but I always carry one and put it on when needed. Some places won't let you in unless you're wearing a mask. To me that's not a problem. I've been out and about and working the entire time the COVID-19 pandemic has been going on. Personally it's not a big deal, or a problem if the quote-unquote experts think this will help slow or stop the virus I'm in. For all the details on the new ordinance click here.