It goes without say that we should all be entitled to medical care. For some people, this form of care means life or death. However, in all the splendor joys that 2020 has already provided us, we are finding that, for many people, medical care is outright being denied. In fact, for specific groups of people, they aren’t even being allowed in the door before being asked to leave the facility. Why? It all boils down to the mask mandate. I understand that many people will disagree with this article. I also understand that I will most likely catch a lot of grief for writing it, however, I simply refuse to sit back and watch as specific groups of disabled people continue to be targeted, denied their basic right to medical. After all, we have already seen other rights be stripped away, we’ll get into that also.
First, and foremost, it is important to understand that the mask mandate is that: a mandate. Although many people will try to claim this to be law, it’s not. The difference in a mandate and law comes down to a variety of factors, how it came to be is among them. While state and federal laws get run through every government house known to man, the mandate had never undergone such a process. Basically, this makes it unenforceable by law enforcement, though they are attempting to enforce it anyway. The issue in them enforcing it can be chalked down into what the very definition of their occupation: to uphold and enforce the law.
Initially, the mask mandate was a suggestion. Never intended to be required, the government composed a list of “safety” procedures for people to follow, if they so wished. However, what we ended up seeing completely opposed this initial stance. In a progressively slow measure, this request grew into the mandate. Some of the “safety” guidelines are as follow:
- Stay at least six feet apart from one another. Apparently, we are facing the only known virus in history that has a travel distance of six feet.
- Wear a mask. This is something we are going to really get into shortly.
- Avoid large crowds. Goes back to the whole six feet portion.
Enforcement vs. your rights
In enforcing this potential violation to the constitution, as well as civil liberties, we have seen the outright measures our very own government are willing to take. In the past several months, we have seen churches forced into closing their doors and their ministers arrested upon refusing to do so. If you aren’t well versed in the Constitution yet, let’s just recap, shall we?
Under the first amendment, you have the right to free speech, the press, religion, and so on. In regards to religion, the amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Hence where their idea of enforcement now becomes a problem.
By forcing religious institutions into closing their doors, they directly violated the first amendment. Regardless of the reason as to why this was done, it changes nothing in regards to the result. To take it further, those who refused to cease practicing within their religious institutions, were simply arrested. Never, in the history of the United States, has a minister been arrested for refusing to terminate their religious practices; of course, this is no longer a truthful statement.
Within the mask mandate, there are exemptions that must be noted. It is these exemptions that have lead to this article. The exemptions within themselves aren’t the problem, it’s how businesses treat individuals who are exempted that has become the problem.
- pre-existing respiratory conditions.
- sensory disorders, such as those associated with autism.
The above are only a few examples of things that are exempted. Regardless of this, corporations, and even medical facilities, are making blanket policies that force everybody, exempted or not, to wear these masks. Furthermore, for those who are exempted, there doesn’t appear to be any form of help with fighting these illegal policies. So, let’s go ahead and arm our disabled friends with a few pieces of legal information that may be of assistance.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is quickly becoming a critical law to know. Within this law, there are protections that could translate into the enforcement of these corporate policies, as well as the mandate itself though the mandate has exemptions for this very reason. The two titles that we are going to specifically focus on are II and III of the ADA.
“Title II applies to State and local government entities, and, in subtitle A, protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability in services, programs, and activities provided by State and local government entities. Title II extends the prohibition on discrimination established by section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 794, to all activities of State and local governments regardless of whether these entities receive Federal financial assistance.”
Title III focuses on private businesses (also known as public accommodations). All new construction and modifications must be accessible to individuals with disabilities. For existing facilities, barriers to services must be removed if it is readily achievable. Public accommodations include facilities such hotels, restaurants, bars, theaters, grocery stores, hardware stores, dry-cleaners, banks, professional offices of health care providers, lawyers, and accountants, hospitals, private bus or train stations, museums, libraries, zoos, amusement parks, places of education, day care centers, senior citizen centers, homeless shelters, gymnasiums, health spas, bowling alleys, and golf courses to name a few.
To read this in its entirety, please visit this link.
Essentially, these titles prevent corporations, etc. from denying disabled individuals services solely on the grounds of their disabilities. For those who are being denied, as we’ve recently seen, this act will quickly become your best friend in fighting these unjust policies.
The mandate has been met with such controversy that lawsuits are currently ongoing. States such as Ohio, Wisconsin, and Texas are just a few states to mention. Rather or not you are for, or against the mandate, one thing must be clear: For the disabled individuals who cannot wear such devices, life has become a much more difficult challenge than what was ever needed. Rather it requires a revocation, overhaul, or even clarification of the mandate, to resolve the issues that are apparently present, it is, without a doubt, that action must be taken.