Wednesday, May 6, 2020

A Question About Masks

I have a question about face masks, face coverings that I am generally curious about, especially given some of the response to them that I have seen online.

If we could open up everything tomorrow, almost completely like normal, but the requirement was that it would be required to wear a face mask for the next 30 days, to the point of it being a fineable offense, would you wear it?  Or would you protest such a law?

Does it matter if it is a state or a federal law?

I'm really curious as to where the fight against this is coming from.  Yesterday I saw a summarization on social media that I felt too close to home.  It posited that we as Americans have moved beyond an understanding of freedom as an underpinning of society required to make government work, to essentially viewing it as "you can't tell me what to do."

And from some of the other discussion that I am seeing, that seems eerily accurate.  Even when we act against our own best interest.

I understand concerns over government overreach, but I fail to see how requiring the wearing of a face cover for a limited time during a pandemic fits that description.  It would seem to be the definition of good governance.  Like requiring seatbelts while driving.

Likewise, I've read a lot of constitutional arguments online, and it is genuinely surprising to see how many Constitutional scholars that we have.  I've yet to see one that actually discusses Constitutional law as it really exists.  And I've yet to see what right the requirement to wear a mask would impinge.

I know that we fumbled the execution on this terribly.  We started far too late, we have communicated mixed messages on the subject, we have done a horrible job at stamping out false narratives like Covid being lab created.  And there has been mixed messaging on the mask issue.  Done with good reason, to prevent the hoarding of N95 masks when the general public does not need them, when a cloth face covering will suffice for most purposes, but confusing nonetheless.

The amount of people that bristle at this just surprise me.  Just as the number of people who are convinced a future vaccine is some sort of conspiracy surprise me.

These same people would not hesitate to put on protective gear, like gloves and a mask, if they entered an ICU room to visit a loved one who was immunocompromised.

And yet, when the world is essentially immunocompromised, such precaution is seen as overreach, overreacting, and being fearful.

I'm reposting an image so that it is taken in the spirit in which it was originally offered.  And to serve as a reminder - WEARING A MASK IS NOT ABOUT YOU.   It is about showing care and concern for the world around you.  It is about making sure that we reduce transmission levels to as small a percentage as possible to move past this virus.  It's not forever, it's temporary, even though it may go on longer than you like.

This is especially important for the Church.  It is especially important for us to show our care, our love for the world around us.  During this difficult time, we should be doing all we can to make sure the church is not a source of continuing the spread of this virus.  Wearing a mask is a big part of that. 

It is quite literally the least we can do.

So, I ask again, will you wear one?

I'm of the belief it should be required for the next interim period, but I know it won't be at the necessary scale.  So, without it being required, without it being forced, will you wear one to show the rest of the world how much you care about them?  Not about how you look, not about your preferences, not about the comfort of the mask, but because you care about those around you.

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