On My Soapbox: The enforcers

This column represents the thoughts and opinions of Jason Hennington. This is NOT the opinion of the Taylor Press.

Taylor and Williamson County have gone into the red phase of the COVID-19 transmission spread guidelines, which basically means people need to be more vigilant when it comes to social distancing and wearing masks.

In other words, don’t have large gatherings and wear your mask.

But what about the people who still think this virus is a hoax and is not that serious? How do you get them to understand that you have to follow rules to ensure safety?

At least three times this week I drove passed the skate park, and it was packed full of people of all ages. It seems these people ignored the large road signs that say the park is closed.

Were any of these people punished for using the park when it is clearly supposed to be closed?

I also saw a social media thread where someone wanted to use the tennis courts as a skatepark, even though there are signs that clearly forbid skating on the courts.

People will still go into businesses without masks and get upset when they are asked to put a mask on.

Is there any kind of verbiage in the ordinance that enforces a fine for people who still use the amenities while they are closed due to COVID-19 concerns?

What is the penalty for people who refuse to wear masks and social distance in public places?

I know there are possible fines for businesses that do not comply, but what about citizens?

The only way to really get people to follow the rules is to enforce them.

I’m not saying make an example of a kid who forgot their mask in the car, but make sure that child, and their parents, understand the consequences for failing to wear a mask. Not just the possibility of spreading or contracting the virus, but financial consequences – fines – if there are any.

Next week will be interesting because it is Thanksgiving. Some people will not gather with family because they are worried about the virus. Some people will still gather but wear masks and stay six feet apart.

Others will gather in groups to celebrate the holiday with no masks or social distancing.

I have no quarrels with any of those choices, but I pray that everyone stays safe. However, if there were a possibility of fine or immediate repercussions, people might consider the first two options.

I want to see my family, but I know not everyone will be around because of the pandemic. Hopefully things will be better, and we can all be together during Christmas.

We don’t know what is going to happen with this virus, but I’ve lost too many loved ones already because of it. Let’s be smart.

I’m going to get off my soapbox because I’ve run out of space.

“Doubts raced through my mind as I considered the feasibility of enforcing a law which the majority of honest citizens didn't seem to want.”

- Eliot Ness

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