Here I go talking about wearing face masks again.

The subject of mandatory face masks in Illinois is a heated one that I truly try to avoid discussing these days, but that doesn't mean it is going away anytime soon.

Many people feel being forced to wear a mask violates their freedom, and I do get it, BUT isn't having businesses shutdown and being told you can't leave your home a far bigger infringement on your freedom?

That is exactly where we are headed in Illinois, and in Rockford AGAIN, if we all can't learn to shut it and just mask up.

I apologize for being so blunt, but I seriously feel wearing a face mask in public is the most selfless thing you can do these days. Slipping on that simple piece of fabric keeps others safe and keeps thousands of our neighbors employed.

The small actions you and I take daily has a huge effect on the bigger picture, and the bigger picture is helping our local economy and lives bounce back.

The Rockford Register Star reports that several community leaders and business owners throughout Winnebago County have "promised to increase enforcement of face covering requirements in public places and at outdoor gatherings when social distancing isn’t possible".

The reason for this alignment is simple; to prevent strict closures and quarantines being put back in place in the Rockford area.

Although most of the businesses and residents of Rockford are wearing masks and doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19, too many are not, and that is the problem that needs to be focused on. Mayor Tom McNamara recently told the RRStar;

Officials will continue to work to raise awareness and educate people, but McNamara said as “a last resort” the city can issue tickets or code violation notices that can carry fines ranging from $25 to $750 against businesses and individuals.

McNamara said fines have not yet been levied, but Rockford has warned a handful of businesses for non-compliance.

PLEASE, just mask up!!!

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