By Scottsdale Pinetop
Within the past year, the number of COVID-related deaths has been compared to deaths from a lot of different causes, ranging from the common flu to car accidents.
Much of the debate has also been focused on the effectiveness of wearing masks to slow the spread versus impeding on individual freedoms. But this week, Scottsdale Representative Joseph Chaplik took the debate one step further.
Representative Chaplik is sponsoring a bill that would allow businesses to ignore local mask mandates citing that society has managed to overcome other viral outbreaks without the need for face masks – specifically AIDS.
“We heard about that in the ‘80s. Yet no masks were required,” Chaplik stated during Wednesday’s floor debate on the bill.
An irresponsible and inaccurate comparison. But then again, the Arizona Legislature has never been held to a high level of scientific standards when making arguments.
Despite the logical fact that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is not an airborne virus like COVID. Despite the fact that an HIV infection is for life and can be contagious for decades whereas a COVID infection tends to peak within a few days.
Arizona is eager to return to some kind of normalcy, whatever that may be, especially with Governor Ducey’s recent executive order for schools to return to in-person learning by March 15th. A similar approach, effective should be taken to support businesses that are continuing to struggle.
No one enjoys wearing masks. Studies show a majority of the population is ready to return to the days where leaving the house doesn’t require the three essentials: keys, wallet, mask. But comparing two vastly different viruses to help argue the hindering on personal freedoms is just careless.