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This anti-mask movement is starting to sound a lot like all the other anti-science arguments about evolution, vaccination, global warming, etc. These are beliefs founded in ignorance, mythology and non-scientific anecdotes. The common threads are simplistic thinking and ignoring real science. People, just because scientists are smart, don’t have  a lot of charisma and use big words, doesn’t mean they’re wrong!

“Duh… it’s 30 below zero outside, so much for global warming” … “My pastor (or rabbi, imam) says there ain’t no evolution, God created Adam 6,000 years ago.” (Well, there were people living in Jerich 4,000 years before that.) “Dinosaurs are pretend.”(No, they aren’t.) “Vaccinations cause autism.” (No, they don’t.)

The government didn’t help the mask problem by lying to people in February and March to try to prevent us from hoarding masks more obviously needed by medical personnel. The president has been a poor leader on this issue, no surprise!

A couple wearing facemasks spray hand sanitizer in a supermarket parking lot Individuality and independence are qualities we treasure as a nation. The U.S. Revolution started in a fight against random government exercises of authority. So it’s no shock that we want to rebel, saying, “The government has no business telling me what to wear on my face.”

Meanwhile, people younger than 70 have little or no experience regarding governmental powers in the areas of public health, which are substantial.  Only the oldest centenarians among us have personal memories of the 1918-1920 Spanish Flu, when mandatory mask wearing was last a controversy, and when every other row in a Madison arena was closed during an early Gopher-Badger hoops matchup. Those in their seventies and eighties remember the polio, smallpox and tuberculosis epidemics of the 30s and 40s.  My mother-in-law’s family was ordered quarantined by the government because she contracted tuberculosis.  Many people were forced into quarantine in sanitoria built on the outskirts of every large city, like Glen Lake Sanitorium in Eden Prairie.

Man and woman in office during coronavirus wearing masks at computers

If you want to know about the founders’ (the real rebels) attitudes about this, check out the colonial yellow fever, cholera, typhoid, and malaria epidemics and their responses.

You lawyers, dig out the case law. Try Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905). The Public Health Powers of the government reasonably applied have trumped claimed personal liberties every time! Not a minor thing like wearing a measly mask, how about being arrested and stuffed into a sanitorium because you got the contagion! Or mandatory vaccination. Those precedents are still out there and more importantly, those laws are still needed to protect the citizenry from their diseased brethren.

Of course, most of us don’t remember all this because we have no personal experience and we’re not good history students.  We got in line and got our vaccinations and inoculations and grew up without pandemics. Why? Because science had come through and cured these scourges.

 

It is ridiculously common sense that a simple cloth masks can reduce transfer of this contagion to others. Let’s make that point clear… You’re wearing a cloth mask not so much to protect yourself, but mainly to protect others! Sure, if it was only for self-protection, go ahead, be independent, no one cares if you put yourself at risk. But mask refusal puts the people around you at risk.  “But I ain’t sick, I can tell.” No, you can’t! One of the most dangerous things about this virus is being contagious for two weeks or more and not even knowing you’re sick.

True patriots take tough action for the common good; meaning the good of their fellow citizens.  We join the armed forces, we serve jury duty, we pay taxes and we vote. Joining the military at times of war doesn’t usually help an individual, it’s a huge sacrifice (and can lead to the ultimate sacrifice). Paying taxes is money straight out of my pocket. Jury duty is a pain in the a**, but it’s patriotic because it upholds the American Justice system.

Just like all those things, wearing a mask helps the common good more than you. Just like those things, it’s patriotic to wear a mask to protect other citizens!

C’mon, people, show your patriotism and Mask Up!

 

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