Is the argument over wearing masks settled?

When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued yet another executive order last week requiring any businesses to have patrons and employees wear masks when inside a location or face the wrath of a fine, it only added more fuel to the fire.

When the guidelines to fight COVID-19 have been repeated — maybe not as much as some would like, but still repeated — it was keep six feet of distance between yourself and someone outside your household and wear a mask when you’re inside or will be within six feet of another individual.

It was pretty simple, but throw a requirement from the government in, and that’s when things can become politicized. But let’s look at this mask vs. no mask issue from a different perspective.

It’s time to take off the red-tinted or blue-tinted glasses off for a second.

It was 16 years ago when a 79-year-old woman sued the McDonald’s in Albuquerque, New Mexico because the coffee she ordered was too hot. She eventually settled with the fast food giant for less than $600,000.

Many hold up that case as an instance of frivolous litigation. No matter what your opinion of the case, there is something that holds true no matter which way you lean — people can, and will, sue when they feel wronged.

It’s a right.

So let’s take a look at what we’re dealing with now. On one hand, you have some that will claim that they have a right to service without wearing a mask. They’re being denied a service. They would rather not go some place else, and will force the issue. These patrons could very well may take the business to court to force a decision based on what they believe their rights are.

On the other hand, let’s say you’re the business and you’ve got two other parts to deal with. You’ve got the patrons who are wearing masks, but should they contract this virus from someone not wearing a mask — and the business doesn’t require the wearing of masks by everyone — is the business now liable? Could they be sued? You bet.

And don’t forget about the employees. Certainly, they take on a certain risk by working in whatever conditions their employers have for them. That risk could change in terms of contracting the coronavirus based on what they do and how they do it. Should an employee contract the disease while at work, would the employer be sued? Perhaps.

While we may all have different thoughts on how we got here in regard to wearing masks or not wearing masks, what precautions to take to fight COVID-19 or not or even, dare I say, exactly how serious this disease is and our reaction to it, it can be very easy to lose sight of other factors in our society that come into play.

We here, at the Daily News, have received our fair share of complaints of what people believe are slights and wrongs and what they believe is the wrong way to handle wearing a mask or not wearing a mask.

Certainly, our local law enforcement has likely heard more than that share. And they’re going to hear a whole lot more starting today because of the governor’s recent executive order — just like when virtually everything was shut down in March and April and exactly what can be essentially done at the workplace or at home.

But it’s going to be more than a citation under these executive orders taking effect today for some movement to happen. We very well could see it play out in the courts via a civil suit.

To riff on what Doug Llewelyn would say on the “People’s Court:” We won’t see how this plays out when people take the law into their own hands, we’ll see this play out in court.

The Managing Editor for the Ludington Daily News since June 2018 and on the staff since Oct. 2011, taking over for legendary Lloyd Wallace. Previously with The Chippewa Herald in Chippewa Falls, Wis., and the Tuscola County Advertiser in Caro.