Hamblen County residents react to mask mandate

Local News

HAMBLEN COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — After Mayor Bill Brittain’s announcement to enforce a mask mandate in Hamblen County, residents on both sides of the issue are sharing their thoughts on the move.

Daron Cobbs says he’s all for it. After losing 3 family members to COVID-19, he says he knows first hand how destructive the virus can be, and is happy to wear one. But, he didn’t always feel this way.

Before the virus directly affected his home and family, he says he didn’t think tragedy could strike him, and wasn’t too keen on wearing a mask. Now he’s pleading with others to take the virus seriously.

“I had 3 family members pass from COVID. I’ve watched them deteriorate rapidly. I’ve watched all these claims of medicines of this that and the third work and they don’t. And these are simple things that could have been avoided had my family members worn masks.” Cobbs said.

Not all Hamblen county residents share the same sentiments as Daron. Jeremiah Wilder and his wife are against wearing masks due to health reasons. Jeremiah’s wife suffers from claustrophobia, anxiety and PTSD. He says wearing a mask causes her to have anxiety attacks and he doesn’t think she should have to wear one.

“She can’t breathe whenever she has it on and we can’t really go anywhere so I have to go out because I don’t have the problem she has.” Wilder said.

Jeremiah says he thinks there are other ways to prevent the spread besides wearing a mask.

“Common sense and good hygiene help stop the spread further, but there is no scientific evidence that these masks work.” Wilder said.

The mandate goes into effect August 4 and will last until August 29. It applies to everyone excluding children 12 and under and those with underlying health conditions.

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