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Arizona's rugged individualism poses barrier to mask rules

Virus Outbreak Arizona No Masks
Posted at 12:32 PM, Jul 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-19 15:32:55-04

PHOENIX (AP) — As Arizona faces a surge in COVID-19 cases, orders to wear masks have met opposition in some quarters from a sentiment as old as the state.

A visceral opposition to government mandates and a fierce individualism has endured among some in Arizona since the days of the Wild West.

The buzz-off attitude is taking on new importance as the state has become one of the world's top hot spots for the spread of the coronavirus.

The message that “my mask protects you, your mask protects me,” isn’t always well-suited to the mind-your-own-business mentality of a state that produced Barry Goldwater’s small-government conservatism and John McCain’s self-styled “maverick” persona.