We get it. Face masks are terrible. They’re uncomfortable at best. They fog your glasses, abrade your lips and nose, and make your face sweat. On the up side, they’ll keep most of the gnats out of your nose and mouth, but that’s little solace; some will find their way in, and those that don’t will head for your ears and eyes.

However, health officials keep telling us that masks will save lives. They need not be professionally rated high-end PPE; even those fabric masks made with love by your Aunt Sally’s sewing circle or the neighbor’s Bible study group have the power to provide the most basic function of providing a barrier to prevent the free dissemination of virus.

With the statistics showing that the pandemic isn’t slowing in the United States, some states and communities are taking measures such as closing some types of businesses, like bars in Florida, or even going as far as mandating the use of face masks in public. Gov. Kay Ivey’s “Safer-at-home” order will expire at the end of the week, and there’s speculation that, given the rate of infection in Alabama, her next order may be more draconian.

However, actions speak louder than words, and when officials at any level step forward to address the pandemic without face masks and without six feet between those with them, it sends a message perhaps stronger than the one they’re stating.

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