I had some personal hopes that one of the outcomes of the pandemic would be to normalize mask-wearing in this country. In Japan, it is rote to wear a mask on public transport or in the office if you are sick. In Taiwan and China, masks are uncontroversial for a less appealing reason: heavy air pollution. In those countries, wearing masks is an act of basic self-protection.
But no, not in America. Here, wearing a mask to stop the spread of a raging pandemic is considered a political act. That’s because a great gob of the (Republican) public declared that it’s their natural right to spread disease and that it’s “tyranny” for anybody else to tell them not to.
So here we are. COVID-19 cases will surely spike again soon, and Republican leaders are preemptively launching attacks to make sure nobody can do anything to protect themselves.
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