In the 1975, the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act prohibited smoking in many indoor venues. In 2007, the Freedom to Breathe Act expanded this ruling to include nearly all public indoor areas.
These were not popular decisions at the time, yet they made sense: No one could dispute the science that told us smoking tobacco was harmful, and those exposed to second-hand smoke were just as much at risk. Yes, there were protests, but nobody shot anyone over it as far as I know.
Now we are being asked by many retailers, large and small, to wear masks to keep the community healthy and hopefully hold COVID-19 at bay. Yes, it isn’t popular with everyone, but it is a public health issue, not a political one.
Just as in the smoking ban era, we all breathe the same air. Just as in the smoking ban era, the science is telling us that masks do work. It just makes sense, then, to wear a mask. More than that, it is our public duty.
So, if you are physically able, please wear a mask inside public places. If you don’t want to, please order your stuff online and stay out of the stores.
We all want to live.