Freedom of Choice and Masks

These days, I read about people who refuse to wear covid-19 masks citing their right to choose. They bridle at the suggestion that anyone can order them to do something they do not want to do. I have no sympathy for them, and I condemn them for failing to protect the health of others.

And now, the Biden administration has urged us all to wear masks. The irresponsibility of the Trump administration is past.

The wearing of a mask, as I understand it, gives more protection to others than it does to the wearer. Put differently, we wear masks less for our own good than for the good of our fellow human beings. We have no more right to subject others to danger than a troublemaker has, citing freedom of speech, to yell “fire!” in a crowded theater.

The wearing of masks has become politicized. Conservatives and Republicans mimic Trump’s refusal to recognize the pandemic—which has now killed over 400,000 people—and see mask wearing as a Democratic-progressive practice. They risk thousands of lives by condemning the wearing of masks as liberal.

It’s time for us Americans to wake up, move beyond Trump’s corruption, and work together for the good of all. So I say to my fellow countrymen: wear a mask!

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