Let’s get this out of the way. Wearing a mask doesn’t make you a hero. Not wearing one doesn’t make you a patriot. Get over yourself. We’ve reached the point in the crisis where we can apparently afford to fight over basic common sense.
Masks aren’t for you, they’re for everybody else. Avoiding the spread of COVID-19 means some personal responsibility and respect for others. The very pro-life conservatives that advocate personal responsibility are at the front lines of the anti-maks, anti-social distancing protests. The lack of compassion for their fellow citizens is astounding. A literal temper tantrum under the pretense of patriotism and freedom.
Mike Pence threw a wink and a nod to these crazies with his refusal to wear a mask at the Mayo clinic. Have no doubt this was an intentional choice meant to fuel the fire burning under the blue state governors, the only play left in the Trump re-election playbook is to seed more division between “us” and “them” and making a mask a “liberal” choice is a great way to reinforce the division every day.
Virtue signaling at its finest, wearing a mask has become a symbol of the stereotypical smug liberal superiority. Admonishing people for not wearing a mask is nearly as infuriating as people waving flags screaming they don’t have to. There are valid reasons to wear and not wear a mask. People still have a choice. While it seems like a basic notion to help protect others from yourself, doing so does not give you the moral high ground.
The amount of made for social media mask posts only further entrenches the positions of pro or anti-mask Americans. Conservative anti-maskers see blue check virtue posts and treat them with similar disdain as the more liberal pro maskers. It’s a boiled down distilled extension of the abortion or gun debate. Stake out your position, reinforce it with an echo chamber, and above all give no ground, especially in the face of reason, nuance, and fact.
This is an American issue, left or right our goal needs to be preventing the spread of COVID-19 by whatever means are reasonably necessary, there has to be somewhere between total government control and encouraging personal responsibility. We haven’t seen that somewhere in previous debates, we have no reason to believe this one will end any different.