Unlike some parts of the US, in Texas, face masks have been mandatory since early July. When a bus driver in Lubbock asked a passenger to put on a face mask, the passenger smashed up the bus and attacked the driver.
This was not an isolated incident. Across the US, face mask rules have caused arguments and violence. In Palm Beach, Florida a shopper in a store pulled a gun on another customer after being called out for not wearing a mask.
The science on masks reducing the spread of the coronavirus is clear, but not everyone is willing to accept it. In local government meetings across the country, passionate citizens have protested masks. They believe that mask rules are a violation of their freedom. “I would also like to know where do you get the authority to reduce my oxygen,” demanded one Florida woman. Another Florida citizen said wearing a mask is akin to, “Being muzzled like a mad dog.”
Yet in countries such as Japan, wearing a face mask is no big deal. At the slightest sniffle, many Japanese people will put on a mask to protect others. It’s considered a common courtesy. In response to the Covid-19 crisis, almost the entire country covered up.
Professor of immunobiology, Akiko Iwasaki, believes the proof is in the pudding. Countries who have accepted masks have done much better during this pandemic.
While some people view face masks as a way to preserve life and liberty, others see them as a human rights violation. Studies show that 25% of people believe in coronavirus conspiracy theories. Some believe it is a hoax designed to limit freedom. Others say it’s no different than the run of the mill flu. Another theory says 5G towers are the cause of the pandemic. Some think it was created in a lab to open the door for a global vaccination program.
The US is not alone in its resistance to masks. In London, there was an anti-mask march. Protestors cried they would not be, “Masked, tracked or poisoned.” They were angry that the UK government was asking for masks to be worn in shops. They called it a “liberty sapping regulation.”
While masks are common sense to some, the US government must take some responsibility for the resistance to masks. Dr. Anthony Fauci is America’s leading infectious disease expert. He now advocates for masks but at the beginning of the pandemic, he advised Americans that masks would not make a difference. U.S. President Donald Trump has recently done a 180 on masks. After months of refusing to wear a mask or encouraging others to wear one, he now calls them patriotic. Despite this turnaround, he still refuses to mandate nationwide mask use.