David Rowe, the state representative of the district where I reside alongside Rowe and his family, had the audacity to announce, regarding the new Pennsylvania mask order: “I find it abhorrent that the Wolf administration has gone back and forth on this issue, and I feel it is up to your personal choice whether or not to abide by this mandate. Please be smart and be safe, and use your own common-sense judgment.”

I know Rowe and I can’t believe I’m trying to reason with him around science, medicine, viral transmission, basic humanity and loving one’s neighbor.

It is shocking that Rowe finds the governor’s evolving mask orders abhorrent, “evolving” because the governor bases his health directives on Pennsylvania’s rapidly changing COVID infection and mortality rates, as well as CDC recommendations. I can’t imagine the hubris it took Rowe to compare the governor’s and the health secretary’s data and fact-driven health orders to how he “feels” about wearing masks, as if how he feels is equivalent to data and to the medical school education and training of our state health secretary.

It saddens me that Rowe has such high regard for personal preferences and such low regard for science, medicine, education, and his fellow human.

Rowe may not wear a mask to help protect me and my family but I will always wear a mask to help protect Rowe and his family while I am out and about in our community, our neighborhood, and on our block.


Jaxi Rothman,




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