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Gov. Eric Holcomb made the right call Wednesday by making masks mandatory beginning Monday in public places, as many other states have.

Madison County and area municipalities should also draft a directive to add local authority to the mandate.

While masks can be an inconvenience and none of us like to be told what to wear, public health is the overriding concern.

As an old saying goes, one person’s right to swing their fists ends where another person’s nose begins.

The coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything we’ve experienced. Seeing the economy and everyday life in general come to a grinding halt has been tough on us all.

Some of us have lost jobs. Others have had to shutter businesses. Children have been deprived of in-person education and playing with their friends. Summer camps, proms and graduation ceremonies have been canceled or heavily modified to accommodate social distancing requirements.

Worst of all, some of us have lost loved ones as COVID-19 has worked its way through our nursing homes and other points of vulnerability.

This is why it is important for all of us to pull together and follow the mask mandate while taking all other precautions recommended by the county and state health departments.

We are all eager to get back to normal, but perhaps we relaxed too soon. The numbers are indicating a spike in cases in Madison County and in the rest of the state.

The mask mandate is no more an infringement on freedom than speed limits. The premise is clear: You have the freedom to do what you want, but you do not have the freedom to recklessly endanger others.

Unprecedented times call for unprecedented solutions.

The sooner we unite to stop the spread of COVID-19, the sooner we can get back to normal.

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