More than a dozen protestors rallied outside the Dubois County Courthouse in downtown Jasper Wednesday with a message: no to COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates.
"Can not we have other alternatives or speak about other alternatives without the world blowing the roof off the place?" said Joe Fromme, who attended the rally. "It just doesn't seem right."
Led by local doctor Richard Moss, the group believes the mandates are illegal, immoral and unconstitutional.
"We have a new religion in America. It's called the religion of COVID," Dr. Moss said. "We had this uptick, this surge and I don't want every single time, going forward we have another surge of one virus or another, that the fallback position is to lockdown, shutdown, keep the kids out of school, put masks on everyone, force vaccinate. It's a big mistake"
Moss recently read a letter to the local school board asking that masks be made voluntary again because he said, for both children and adults, masks do more harm than good.
"Masks do not work, they don't help," he said. "They have no effect on reducing transmission."
Per Governor Eric Holcomb's directive, mask mandates were reintroduced in Dubois County schools at the start of September, though the executive order is set to expire Thursday.
But whether mask or vaccine, the group wants to move past the pandemic.
"We want to go back to the old normal," Moss said. "Live our lives, normal lives."
If that means holding more rallies like this one, then that's exactly what they'll do.
"I certainly don't want anyone to force it on me," Fromme said. "If we don't stand up and say 'what's going on, let's talk about this,' where will this end?"