Subtitle: Individual Ironies
As I survey history, it seems to me that since the dawn of time and the advent of human societies always there has been a tension between the exercise of individual liberty and the observance of mutual or collective standards.
During these days (perhaps, as the weeks and months accumulate, it is more this season) of the coronavirus pandemic, the mask (whether to wear or not to wear, that is the question!) has become both a flashpoint and a figure of this friction between individualism and communalism. And, in this, it is my observation that not wearing a mask, for many, has become a symbol of personal liberty.
Countless, now, have been the occasions, both private and public, when I’ve heard those who choose not (and some, who refuse) to don masks (1) cite, with various degrees of energy, the ineffectiveness, thus, uselessness of the practice in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 and, even worse, (2) ridicule or, still worse, reprimand, with high degrees of energy, those who do wear masks.
On this last score, it strikes me as ironic that one who, under the banner of individual liberty, chooses not to wear a mask is intolerant of one who, equally, as an act of personal choice, wears a mask.
If you don’t desire to wear mask, I won’t criticize you. As I wear a mask, please, don’t criticize me. However, if you do, as another expression of your autonomy, very well. As I can hear quite well, please, stay at least six feet away. Thank you in advance.
© 2020 PRA