LIMA — Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday warned that failure to comply with new coronavirus social norms — from wearing masks or cloth face coverings in crowded spaces to maintaining at least six feet of distance from others — could jeopardize Ohio’s economic recovery.
But will Ohioans listen to the governor’s advice as the state reopens?
“If you are not worried about yourself,” DeWine said, “you should worry about your mom, your dad, your grandparents. You should worry about strangers who somehow might get it from you. … Very few times in our life, maybe never, are we faced with a situation where we are doing something that can cost someone else their life.
“I don’t think there’s any of us — any of us — that when we really think about it, want to do something that causes someone else to die, or someone else, if they don’t die, to be sick.”
Polling from April suggests most Americans were starting to wear cloth face coverings outside the home more regularly.
Nearly 70% of U.S. adults reported sometimes or always wearing a mask or cloth face covering outside the home, according to an April 14-20 Gallup opinion survey.
But that still leaves about 30% of adults who reported never wearing a mask during the seven-day period. And there are partisan, gender and educational differences in opinion that risk making voluntary compliance with face covering recommendations a culture war issue.
“People aren’t used to being out in public with their face covered,” said Robert Carrothers, an associate professor of sociology for Ohio Northern University.
Carrothers maintains that most Americans understand and are willing to comply with the practice, even if they are frustrated.
“You are going to get the people who are extreme in their beliefs and seeing this as an infringement on their ability to live their life the way they’re used to living it and the way they want to live it,” he said, adding that people struggle to cope with rapid or unexpected change.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.