Mask use minimal at the Rally

Masks aren't mandated in S.D., but encouraged by stores in Sturgis
Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 6:00 PM MDT
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STURGIS, S.D. (KEVN) - To mask or not to mask, that is the debate for Americans living in States, like South Dakota, with no mandate.

It isn't just South Dakotans worried about mandates, but visitors to the annual motorcycle rally, as well.

I stood on this street corner from 11:26 to 11:46 and kept tally of the number of people who walked by. In that 20 minute period, 265 people walked by with no face covering whatsoever, while at the same time, 15 people walked by with some sort of mask, though only 11 of them were properly wearing it.

Many stores in Sturgis have signs encouraging social distancing and mask use, but neither are mandated.

A New Jersey man said he wears a mask because he has underlying health concerns, and he promised his family to wear one. He also agrees with Governor Kristi Noem's approach.

"She's leaving the choice to the people, and I believe it should be the choice of the people," said Steven Peragine, from New Jersey. "It shouldn't be mandated. People should be educated and people should make their own mind up to wear a mask. If they don't want to wear a mask and they contract the virus, it's on them."

Another biker, who was not wearing a mask when I spoke with him, only wears one at certain times.

"As a matter of fact, today, we're outside, and the biggest thing, I just came from a ride, and we're getting ready to leave again," said Dean Spencer, from Iowa. "So, any restaurant and stuff we did, but anything outside, we did not."

An Arizona woman said while wearing a mask is an inconvenience, people should be wearing them to prevent the virus from spreading.

“I would just say, wear them. I mean, it is an inconvenience, but if you can prevent COVID from spreading, then, wear them!” said Kay Seckler, from Arizona. “Because if they feel that we need to wear them, I think we should, just to prevent COVID from spreading.”

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