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Our opinion: Getting back to normal means taking the recommended steps

Decisions on the wearing of masks made by the Austin City Council and Gov. Tim Walz this past week have been met with both support and derision.

The City Council voted to back a resolution urging the wearing of masks while Walz’s signing of a mask mandate Wednesday requires people to wear a mask indoors at public places.

Like it or not, there is now a trend requiring more mask wearing and it seems that for the most part, people are starting to accept this idea.

A recent poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that three out of four Americans, including a majority of Republicans, favor requiring people to wear face coverings while outside their homes.

Public health officials have advocated over and over again simple steps that could have a big affect on keeping COVID-19 numbers down.  Those steps include: washing hands frequently, avoid crowds (especially indoors) and wearing a mask when going outside.

The poll backed up the support of this as well, showing that 95 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of Republicans are wearing coverings when they leave their homes. Eighty-six percent of Americans overall were wearing masks, up 73 percent in May.

For many who are upset by these mandates, it’s the idea of being told how to live their lives by a government entity. Rather, they are free do as they wish.

To be sure, nobody likes being told how to live their lives and we all want to get back to normal, but in this case getting back to normal requires the step of wearing a mask in public.

It’s been proven again and again that wearing masks protects others and cuts down the chance of spreading the coronavirus.

As numbers spike across the country, it’s important now more than ever to do what we can and yes, that requires wearing a mask.