DeKalb residents protest mask and vaccines


DeKALB – DeKalb residents against face masks and vaccine warrants cited “government overbreadth” as the reason they opposed the demands at a protest on Sunday.

Protesters held notice boards at the corner of Lincoln Highway and First Street, professing their disapproval of the mask and vaccine warrants in August.

The demonstration comes shortly after a Executive Decree describing the state’s response to the current public health emergency. The ordinance also declares the counties of Illinois as “disaster areas” granting the governing body emergency powers. These powers facilitate disaster response and help the state government use resources it could not otherwise.

A “I would say the main reason I oppose this is because of the word ‘warrant’,” said Joshua Alvarado, a representative of a group called Illinois Standing Against Tyranny. “Don’t make me (wear a mask) if I don’t want to.”

The protest was organized by the DeKalb Libertarian Party and was planned by Ciara Mathey, the party’s local event planner and coordinator.

“I’ve spoken to several families who have been overwhelmed by the tenures, especially those who have middle school students at NIU,” Mathey said. “We just wanted to show people that we are there and that we hear them, and we want to fight for them too, for their freedoms. We know the risk. So we know our risk. We know our health. We know what we can and cannot do.

Mathey’s feelings about the COVID-19 vaccine mirrored those of the mask’s tenure.

“We just think that if there is some kind of risk, or something like that because there is, adverse effects have been reported; wherever there is risk there should be a choice, ”said Mathey. “So if there is a risk for you and you feel there is, then you should have that choice, be able to decide against it and not lose your job or not be able to go to school. school or work. ”

Yet, as the Delta variant accounts for the majority of COVID-19 cases and intensive care beds begin to fill in areas with low vaccination rates, medical experts continue to recommend the use of masks and blankets. faces in indoor public spaces.

“In IDPH region 5, in southern Illinois, with the state’s lowest vaccination rate at 44%, only 3% of intensive care beds are available because the region has the highest case rate. highest in the state, ”according to an Illinois newspaper. Release. “As of August 1, local state health departments have reported 27 outbreaks of COVID-19 in schools and currently hundreds of schools are being monitored for possible COVID-19 exposures.

Although regions with the lowest vaccination rates are hardest hit by COVID-19 and its Delta variant, no vaccine is 100% efficient.

The Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention reported that people exposed to the virus after being vaccinated are less likely to develop serious illness and much less likely to result in death. Groundbreaking cases are those in which fully vaccinated individuals are infected with COVID-19 or one of its variants.

Yet those who contract the virus regardless of their vaccination status are contagious and can transmit COVID-19 to those who cannot get vaccinated or to those who have opted out.

“Some people think that if a person dies we all have to wear a mask like hundreds and thousands of people and I’m not in this camp because the flu has always killed people, you know every year the flu comes back and kills. a bunch of people, ”said Tom Portegys, DeKalb resident and NIU alumnus. “At the start of COVID, I took every precaution. I got my vaccine, and the data says everything will be fine and everything will be fine. “

Numerous studies have been conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19. A to study has shown that the requirement to use a mask in public has been associated with a drop in the daily growth rate of COVID-19.

“The vast majority of hospitalizations, as well as cases and deaths, involve unvaccinated people; it’s become an unvaccinated pandemic, ”IDPH director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in the Illinois press release. “We have safe, proven and effective tools to turn the tide and end this pandemic, but until more people are vaccinated, masks are the order of the day and will help us slow the spread of the disease. virus.”

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