Bismarck reacts to mask vote

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 8:10 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Now that Bismarck has adopted a mask mandate, residents and businesses must decide whether to comply or disobey. Since there’s no penalty for violating it, there’s plenty of confusion.

When negotiations over restrictions was over, the mandate became merely a strategy. And without those restrictions or enforcement in place, it’s leaving many in the city wondering ‘what was the point?’ Opinions were plenty before the vote Tuesday night. Supports and protestors taking the podium and picketing in the streets. But after the vote, residents are preparing for a strategy without penalty.

“I haven’t worn one and I haven’t gotten sick either. Nor has anyone I know gotten sick. So I think they should just let people do what they want to do,” said one Bismarck man. While many businesses have issued mask requirements, some business owners avoided a rule they didn’t want to follow.

“I didn’t think it was needed. I mean, if people were smart enough to stay away from each other and if they’re working on different things and not working side by side,” said Charles Hale.

Some commissioners warned about what could happen if action isn’t taken. And some in the city have seen the effects of COVID on the country’s hardest-hit parts.

“Last time I was in New York, it was like a zombie zone out there. Stuff like that. It’s like, kind of a dead zone with Broadway and the theatres and everything. A lot of money left New York and everybody is heading all over the place,” said former New York City resident Eliody Nicholas Veira.

And while a mandate may not be in place, residents and lawmakers at all levels are asking people to mask up.

Throughout this entire process, the question of which level of government could issue a mandate came up, and both the commissioners and residents voiced their frustration over the governor’s lack of mandate statewide.

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