WATERTOWN — Whether they are pro-mask or not, people seem ready to leave the decision to require masks be worn in public up to individuals and not the state.
A half-dozen people interviewed at random in Watertown on Wednesday, shortly after Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul announced that the requirement to enter a business with a mask or proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be lifted on Thursday, said they’ve always understood why wearing masks is important.
They all said they have taken COVID-19 seriously and have taken precautions like masking and getting vaccinated. Still, most felt the requirement was a driver of tension, and that it’s time to leave it up to the bar owner, hardware store or gas station — and they would respect what the sign on the door says with or without a state requirement.
“If you feel comfortable wearing one then wear it,” said Ron DaLuke, a Watertown resident. “I’ll wear mine if I remember it. As far as it being enforced, that’s a pretty tough deal to say ‘You have to wear this.’”
He said he understands that wearing a mask protects others, but now is not the right time to get combative with those who don’t wear masks.
“Are you going to walk into the store and because a person there isn’t wearing a mask, are you going to go over there and punch them?” he said. “No, you wear your mask, keep your distance and just go about your business.”
Amanda Fuller, a lifelong Watertown resident, is sick of the masks, but she has a child whose immune system is compromised.
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