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'Obey' appears in Kentucky skies just days after Democratic governor's COVID-19 mask mandate

The mandate — in effect since July 11 — requires masks in public when people are unable to socially distance

Image source: WLEX-TV video screenshot

A skywriter drew the word "obey" above a pair of Kentucky cities, WLEX-TV reported — and the stunt took place just days after Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear's COVID-19 mask mandate.

What are the details?

WLEX said "obey" appeared above Lexington and Frankfort last Tuesday, and many viewers contacted the station about what they witnessed. Naturally many photos and videos of the skywriting were taken.

Image source: WLEX-TV video screenshot

The station noted that the "obey" skywriting recalls the 1980s movie "They Live" about a totalitarian society.

Roger Chui of Lexington told WLEX he saw the "obey" message in the sky, hopped on flightaware.com, tracked the flight pattern, and learned the plane spent about an hour in the air over Lexington and Frankfort before returning to Danville.

Image source: WLEX-TV video screenshot

WLEX said it tracked the plane that performed the skywriting to "Ghostwriter Airshows" of Boyle County.

Image source: WLEX-TV video screenshot

The pilot — who didn't want to be identified and said he'd been bombarded with calls about the stunt — told the station he was hired to write "obey" in the sky above the two cities but wouldn't disclose the name of his client or how much the job cost.

"You figure if someone wants to get a message out at that scale the next thing they would want to do is talk to the media," Chui added to WLEX. "I mean they already have everyone's attention."

Peter Zhurbich, also of Lexington, told the station that "it has to be somebody making a point about the mask mandate probably."

What's up with the mask mandate?

Beshear's mask mandate — which went into effect July 11 — requires the wearing of masks in public, WFIE-TV reported.

The station said the mandate means that masks are required when people are near each other and unable to socially distance. WFIE added that Beshear said prior to the mandate that Kentucky's increasing number of coronavirus cases was a concern.

"A decision not to wear a mask — you could think that there's some liberty component, but any of that ends when you put the health and safety of someone else at risk," he said during July 10 press conference, the station said.

The mandate requires masks in places such as retail stores, restaurants, gyms, and in outdoor spaces where people can't stay six feet apart, WFIE said.

"I'm very aggravated and I won't be wearing a mask," McClean County resident Sabrina Sonner told the station. "And many of my family and friends — they won't be wearing a mask, either."

In a follow-up story, WFIE reported that at the time of the mask mandate, Beshear lost a lawsuit over COVID-19 restrictions that claimed to block the governor's new executive order.

But Beshear said his mask mandate is an administrative agency regulation, not an executive order, the station added.

Anything else?

Beshear on Monday expressed anger toward those who he said had been "secretly and covertly" taking photos of his son at baseball games and posting them online, the Courier-Journal reported.

At his daily news conference, Beshear answered a question about why he pulled his son, Will, 11, from a baseball tournament Sunday and replied that players weren't taking precautions against COVID-19, including requiring masks, the paper said.

Beshear said he believes the photos were meant to send a message, the Courier-Journal added.

"I know when people try to post pictures of my kids, what they're really trying to tell me is, 'We know where you are. We can get to you,'" the governor added, according to the paper.

One last thing…
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