I’ve always been a huge fan of what New Hampshire stands for. I live incredibly close to the border in Massachusetts and have always noticed a difference between the two states.
Of course, everyone in my area does all of their shopping in NH due to the lack of sales tax. Also, the states’ liberal sale of beer in grocery stores and gas stations, coupled with lower prices on booze makes it a good place to be.
Earlier this week, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu announced that he is going to let the mandatory mask mandate in the state expire. Obviously, this was a divisive decision. The right was trumpeting how great Sununu is, and the left was saying how reckless he is and that he will have blood on his hands.
Quite honestly, knowing New Hampshire’s mantra, “live free or die,” I was shocked that Sununu ever enacted a mandatory mask mandate. It doesn’t really fit their history. But the pandemic has changed things everywhere.
The reactions to the lifting of a mask mandate are, as with everything, too extreme. In this case, one side is more extreme than the other. What really gets lost in all of the posturing, is what really happened with the lifting of the mandate.
For those who don’t get it, I’ll fill you in.
First, let’s take a look at the definition of the word mandate. A mandate is an official order that one must do something. No ifs, ands, mights or maybes. You MUST do it. When it comes to mask mandates, this means that no matter where you are, you have to wear a mask. Regardless of the scenario. Was this always enforced? No. It is impossible for officers to walk around and catch everyone in the state who isn’t wearing a mask. But in the grand scheme, rules are rules whether they are enforced or not.
When Sununu let the mandate expire on Friday, the lunacy of some on the left saying that he just signed people’s death warrants is nuts. They definitely don’t understand what lifting a mandate means.
When a mandate is lifted, this doesn’t make wearing a mask a criminal offense. It just no longer makes wearing a mask in public a requirement. It takes the burden of personal responsibility off the government and puts it back to where it belongs. If there are people, which I am sure there are, in New Hampshire that are still worried and want to wear a mask, they can go right ahead. Not only that, private businesses can also still require masks in their establishment.
I think this move is a microcosm of what the entire country feels right now. We are all sick of being told we have to wear a mask or we are going to kill our neighbors. We all followed the rules like we were told until a vaccine was available. And now that people are getting a vaccine, we are still being told we can’t do things. I am not a big anti-government wacko, but there has to be a point where we get to make our own decisions. People need to make their own informed decision, and not just wait for Dr. Fauci to come on TV and tell you what to do.
As a whole, I think we can all take a lesson from the Granite State. Not only on this, but on a lot of things. I’ve said this for years, and it is more prevalent now than in the past. People need to be able to make their own decisions. If someone doing something doesn’t impede with you living your life, then you can’t stop it. One example is the fact that NH has no seat belt law, or a law requiring people wear a helmet while on a motorcycle. Who is the only person that is going to get hurt if you don’t wear a seat belt or a helmet? That would be you. You are taking your life into your own hands. It doesn’t affect me or anyone else other than you.
In contrast, New Hampshire was one of the first states to make texting and driving a criminal offense. This may seem counter intuitive, but it really isn’t. If a person is texting and driving, they can hurt all of the other people on the road. It impedes on others ability to live their life the way they want. Makes a little bit of sense huh? If someone wants to not wear a helmet and have their gray matter splattered all over 101 in Epping, that’s their own choice. The same goes for the masks. If you feel that you are safe and don’t need a mask then you don’t have to wear one. If you don’t feel safe, you can either wear a mask, or just patronize those private businesses that require them.
Basically, this all comes down to personal responsibility. We all need to take a page from the Book of NH, and let people make their own informed decisions. We need to stop vilifying people either way. I’ll end with this: you do you man, you do you.