To the people out and about and unmasked: How dare you!

Are you too cool, too important, too invincible to get COVID-19? Or are you out to make a political statement?

“Hey hey, ho ho, these masks have to go!” is a chant heard in some circles.

How selfish. How arrogant. Remember, it’s not only about you.

That has never been more true than today, as coronavirus cases climb and hospital ICU beds fill up. Now is not the time for reckless behavior in the name of politics or self-absorption.

On Wednesday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez acknowledged worsening COVID-19 numbers and pointed to an obvious culprit: “Some people are being a little too comfortable about not wearing masks.” That’s an understatement. Especially, since the state of Florida has posted a record number of confirmed coronavirus cases in four of the last seven days.

Friday, Florida reported 8,942 new cases, the most ever recorded in a single day. That the number of new cases was so alarming that Gimenez ordered Miami-Dade Police to more strictly enforce the must-wear-a-mask mandate.

Putting police in the mix is the right thing to do. However, their involvement should not be used as an excuse for officers to overreact, to be abusive. The crackdown should be administered equitably and with level heads — all over town.

And all residents who are flagged should comply.

Gimenez has pulled back from a warning that he would re-close businesses if they didn’t enforce emergency coronavirus rules requiring customers to wear masks.

And Herald analysis show that it’s highly unlikely those rampaging numbers are only because of increased testing.

Miami Beach lapses

Even Miami Beach has slipped. It’s not enforcing its own rules mandating face masks or physical distancing at the beach when people are with non-family members.

And some people are making a statement:

A Miami travel agent wants a judge to strike down Miami-Dade’s emergency orders requiring people to wear masks while visiting businesses, claiming the emergency COVID-19 rules are too vague to be enforced and wrongly infringe on constitutional freedoms.

Sorry, but people who don’t wear masks are endangering all of us.

Are they so self-absorbed that it doesn’t matter to them?

Several studies have confirmed that wearing the right mask significantly cuts the coronavirus transmission rate. It is simply everyone’s responsibility to protect each other. It’s the same as reporting suspected child abuse, or a drunk driver careening down the expressway.

We know that South Floridians just want their old lives back. That day will come far sooner if they just put on their masks.

An editorial from the Miami Herald.