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People Are Actually Driving Out Of State For Groceries Just To Avoid Mask Mandates

As coronavirus cases continue to surge in the U.S., more and more states have begun issuing orders that require residents to wear face masks while out in public. In fact, according to NPR, more than 20 states have implemented such mask mandates so far.

However, these orders have not been met with unanimous enthusiasm, as many people have been quite vocal about their opposition to what they say is an infringement on basic human rights.

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One of those anti-maskers recently went viral after revealing the lengths she was willing to go to just to avoid having to cover her face while shopping.

Facebook | Amanda Rhea

According to KXYL, Amanda Rhea from Spokane, Washington, shared a post on Facebook earlier this week in which she revealed she was driving across state lines to Idaho to complete her grocery shopping so she could avoid her own state's mask mandates.

"Me driving to Idaho to buy groceries due to the Washington mask mandate," she captioned a photo of herself inside her car, adding the hashtag #sorrynotsorry and the middle finger emoji.

That post was screenshot from her Facebook page and shared all over the internet where it quickly went viral.

In an interview with KXYL, Rhea said she's seen her own photo and caption be shared all over the internet, including on Twitter, where people have branded her "selfish" for avoiding wearing a mask in public.

One Twitter user claiming to have actually gone to high school with Rhea gave a bit more insight into the woman's personality.

"She's always been like this, and always wants the best of both worlds," the user tweeted. "'F*** masks, but also hero-worship me [because] I work for CPS as a first responder.'"

"The most vulnerable children of [Spokane] deserve so much better," they added.

In response to the backlash her post has received, Rhea has issued a public statement to defend herself against the critics.

Unsplash | Tai's Captures

Issued to KXYL, the statement explains that in the beginning, Rhea's "practices around COVID-19 have swung as far as the pendulum will allow." She admitted that she wore a mask, encouraged others to do the same, and ensured she and her family all stayed home to "stay healthy."

"My practices began to shift after seeing recommendations come out only to be contradicted by the same source the next week and after seeing the government slowly attempt to scare people into submission," she admitted.

After beginning to doubt information given from the CDC regarding masks, Rhea decided she wouldn't "give up [her] rights" and stopped wearing a mask while out in public.

Unsplash | Mika Baumeister

"I wear a mask at work and if I’m feeling under the weather,"she explained. "I do this out of an abundance of caution and out of respect, but I’m not convinced it’s necessary when I’m healthy and I want to fight back a little as I’m concerned the mandate is a governmental overreach."

Deeming Washington's mask mandate "unconstitutional," Rhea explained that is why she made the decision to drive "the eight extra minutes" to Idaho for her groceries.

At the end of her statement, the Spokane woman said her post going viral and the negative response it's received is of great concern to her.

Unsplash | freestocks

"[Too] many people are willing to give their rights up in the name of public health," Rhea said. "It’s my opinion that the consequences of giving up our freedom could be far more detrimental than COVID-19, but you can’t argue with people who don’t understand the difficulties our forefather’s went through to ensure we can live in a free country."

"Although I know it may be a losing battle, I’m not going to idly stand by and allow my freedom to slowly be chipped away," she continued. "I’m going to put up a fight. Governor Inslee said any facial covering will do and it seems mask wearing may be more about compliance than protection."

On July 7, Washington Gov. Inslee instigated a "no mask, no service" mandate in response to the state's recent increase of coronavirus cases.

As of writing, there have been a total of 42,304 positive COVID-19 cases in Washington, with 1,404 deaths and 4,788 hospitalizations.

This week, health officials from the five largest medical care providers in southwestern Idaho made a public plea for a statewide mask mandate, with Dr. Steven Nemerson, the chief clinical officer for Saint Alphonsus, insisting the uptick in positive cases indicates "Idaho is well on its way to becoming another New York, California, Texas or Arizona."

h/t: NPR, KXYL, KTVB