I continue to be dismayed over the objections that many people have to wearing masks. Their main argument appears to be that it is a violation of their civil rights. As an older person at high risk for COVID, I cannot safely go places where numbers of people are not wearing masks (or not wearing them properly). What about my civil rights?
I had the occasion to travel to Japan in the early 1990s in December, the height of flu season. Mask wearing in public places was a common sight as the Japanese people understood that it protected them from exposure to the dreaded flu and prevented exposure to others when they had symptoms. There was no mandate — the people simply saw the value.
Surgeons wear masks when they operate. Dentists wear masks when they work on your teeth. Physicians don masks when they treat respiratory infections. Would you want these health care providers to decide that wearing masks was a violation of their civil rights?
Infectious disease experts agree that wearing masks is one of the best things we can do to reduce the incidence of illness and death from COVID. Why can’t everyone tolerate this minor inconvenience for the greater good of all citizens?