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Carmel mayor asks people going out to wear masks

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Carmel’s mayor says this virus will be remembered just like 9/11 and Pearl Harbor in American minds.

People are going to tell the story of what they did during the quarantine for years to come. He says he hopes they remember themselves doing the right thing to keep their fellow Americans safe.

Right now, he says the right thing is to stay at home or, if you are out and about, do what some of the statues downtown are: wear a mask.

Statues in the Carmel Arts & Design District are usually festively decorated around football game dates or holidays, but, out on the quarantined streets, the police officer statue now stands with a mask on and an arm extended as if he’s keeping people away.

“I think the best rule of thumb is to assume we have it,” Mayor Jim Brainard said. “Try to stay away form other people and not spread it.”

The city had to actively shoo people away from one of its major areas, the Monon Greenway trail. Just a couple of weeks ago, sections were shut down as people showed up in droves with the nice weather. On Tuesday, the weather wasn’t as nice, but with people were out and about. The counter along the trail showed only two people had walked it by midday despite the closure.

Beyond not gathering in public places, Brainard says if you’re going out, you need to be as prepared as possible and wear a mask.

“This is our way of being patriotic,” Brainard said. “This is a war against a different type of enemy than we’ve ever had before, in recent history at least. We can all help win this war if we do the right thing. I want to be able to look back 10, 15, 20 years from now. Everybody is going to remember this moment in history just like our grandparents remembered what they were doing on Pearl Harbor or on 9/11. And we need to ask ourselves a question: Were we part of the solution or part of the problem?”

Brainard says N95 masks should be reserved for medical professionals. He knows cloth masks aren’t as powerful but he wants people to be actively trying to do what they can to make the world even a little bit safer.

“The homemade masks, they all help,” Brainard said. “They may not be perfect but they help. We can all do our part and stop the spread of this virus if we just use some common sense. Use something to cover our faces when we’re out.”

Brainard says he can’t order people to wear masks, but he hopes people think of others when they decide to leave their homes.