Johnson City Mayor: Mask wearing ‘a societal obligation,’ urges community to wear masks in public

Local Coronavirus Coverage

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Johnson City Mayor Jenny Brock made a plea to her community to stop the spread of COVID-19 by voluntarily wearing a face mask.

She told News Channel 11’s Bianca Marais that Gov. Bill Lee extending Tennessee’s state of emergency until Aug. 29, is a red flag that should not be taken lightly.

“I think it’s the most important thing we can do right now. You know, reopening safely and protecting others in case we’re carriers and then for some protection against others, if we have masks on, it’s what everybody needs to be doing right now. I mean, this is within our capabilities, stopping the spread, and then also to make it safer for people to be able to go out and businesses to stay open, so it’s not asking too much of people, I think,” the mayor said. “It’s inexpensive, it may be a little annoying, I know I probably don’t look as beautiful as I would normally look (yeah right) but we all have to do our part and I do believe we have a societal obligation to protect others during something as severe as this.”

“And we know a lot of Southern states are real hotbeds right now, in fact, one of them just over the mountains, so we’re really vulnerable to people coming in from North Carolina where it’s very serious over there,” Brock told News Channel 11’s Bianca Marais.

Mask madates, per se, is not something the mayor is thinking about seriously right now.

“I wouldn’t want to have to do that, we’re not talking about it at this particular point in time – I just want to get out an appeal to everybody to just go ahead and do it and we can protect ourselves,” she said

Constance Gray agreed with the mayor, she believes wearing a mask is the right thing to do.

“It doesn’t matter if it is a level 3 mask, hospital mask, or if it’s even like a lady from our church made this mask. I think it’s very important to wear it, not only for your own protection but for others and it’s a mutual respect thing,” Gray said.

In Downtown Johnson City, bartender and server Michael Bell thinks wearing a mask in public should be mandated, but when he is is taking drink orders with loud music in the bacdkground, the masks could get in the way.

“When we go into like Walmart or something, I understand it, but me as a bartender, wearing a mask – it’s very hard to communicate with people, so that’s been hard for me.”

Continuing coverage of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

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