Liberty wrote: ↑Mon Mar 15, 2021 6:49 am
For me a mask isn't just about spreading Wuflu, its about etiquette.
For me this is profound. I think that it is the underlying reason for many people's views. On one had, it says that the science doesn't matter. And yet the science is supposedly why we started wearing masks in the first place. In review, masks became "polite" in this country when this pandemic started. In Asia, they have been a staple for years. Many people of Asian decent have worn them here and to not a particularly warm welcome. Speaking with a man who is married to a woman from Okinawa, face mask wearing is an accepted practice there but it was much more voluntary. If you wanted to, you did but there was no social requirement in politeness to do it.
Perhaps I'm wrong, but there is an element of virtue signaling in this. It is the same virtue signaling that in reverse demands that some articles of clothing are not allowed in public. Some people have developed a definition of what "polite society" is and doing or not doing what is considered to be in a list of virtue signals elicits a response. Personally, I don't have a problem with being the "odd man out." In probably too many cases in my life, telling me to or not to do something was a way to get me to produce the opposite response. I would submit that in some circles and even sometimes on this forum, OC is an item on that list. I'm poking the bear if I do it. It, too, is not done "in polite circles" lest I trigger someone who is offended at the sight of my gun.
I believe a couple of things.
1. We have pressured too many people to go about their lives including showing up for work when they were sick. It has sometimes even been a badge of honor to do so, showing one's martyrdom for a job with little or no concern for the spread of illness to colleagues. If etiquette had required people to stay home instead, past surges of the flu might have been lessened.
2. Encouraging people to wear masks when they are not feeling well is a good thing. Personally, I find this to be the most difficult time to try to wear a mask. I have a documented allergy to mountain cedar and when that pollen is roaring, the OTC medicine that I take just lessens the symptoms. But I'm not contagious since it is my own allergy. I'm spreading nothing. On the other hand, someone with a cold IS spreading their germs and having them wear a mask if they must be in public does protect others at least someone. Only the person involved knows the difference.
3. Etiquette is a social norm. One can be viewed as a barbarian for using the wrong fork at the wrong time at a fancy dinner party. But it never (at least in my experience) reaches the level of someone else feeling empowered to accost me for using the dinner fork for my salad. It comes down to the level of enforcement of the norm. Pivotal to that, I suppose, is my own feeling of potential personal harm from the person's indiscretion. What do I think about someone using the restroom, failing to wash their hands and than grabbing the exit door handle on the way out? I feel enough personal harm that I'm going to use my paper towel to grab the door handle as I exit and that I fume at the blow dryer only restrooms because of this.
4. At the root of the mask problem is the questionable concept of asymptomatic spread of Covid 19. That is difficult for me when it is done for a person who has not had the virus or received the vaccine. But I have friends who both contracted the virus AND have had both Moderna shots - and they still wear masks as a courtesy. I get it - the people around them don't know their history. But if they still need to wear masks to protect their fellow citizens, the whole premise of herd immunity as our pathway back to normal life is out the window.
As another poster has just suggested, the most interesting paradox is wearing a mask when entering a restaurant and then taking it off for the remainder of an hour's visit. I'll be very interested in the science behind how the 20 entrance steps require mask protection.