A Coronavirus Chronicle #16

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

2 thoughts on “A Coronavirus Chronicle #16

  1. Thanks for this Paul!! So very timely as we are getting ready to go back into lockdown for the winter. With just a few more masks worn by more people we could likely be past this by now. I’ve been staying 10 feet away from folks just to be on the safe side. I pray every day that this winter will end with numbers lower than the projections. God help us!

    Much love!


    1. Oh, Loretta, with our American clutch on personal liberty, in league with our governmental laxitude regarding a vigorous and sustained approach to combatting the spread of COVID-19, I fear what would be a long haul toward recovery has been and will be made longer (meaning, terribly sadly, more illness and more death). Stay safe. Love


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