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Masks Work, Period.
The anti-mask movement in America is a sign of a profoundly troubled nation.
A video is making the rounds of Florida’s rightwing governor Ron DeSantis berating students for wearing masks.
There is something deeply troubling about a political official scolding children for trying to protect themselves from a virus that has killed nearly a million Americans. A virus that continues to take thousands of lives every week. A virus that can have debilitating long-term effects. A virus that remains a deadly threat to older adults, the disabled, immunocompromised, those who can’t get vaccinated, and other at-risk populations.
As I wrote recently, it would be awful enough if Republican politicians were the only ones treating vulnerable people as throwaways. That’s to be expected from a callous, extremist, anti-science party. But disgustingly, Democratic leaders are following Republicans down the anti-mask and anti-mitigation path. And they’re doing it for crass political reasons.
What’s more, millions of Americans are unwilling to take the simplest measures to protect their fellow citizens — out of some distorted notion of “personal freedom.” Is it really that hard to wear a mask to potentially spare someone else the agony of coronavirus? Is a mask really such an onerous burden?
Capitalism has trumped public health from the beginning of the pandemic. And politics has driven the pandemic strategies of both ruling parties. But the fact remains: MASKS WORK.
From the Washington Post:
Wearing any kind of mask indoors is associated with significantly better protection from the coronavirus, with high-quality N95 and KN95 masks providing the best chance of avoiding infection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday. In indoor public settings, surgical masks reduce the chances of testing positive by 66 percent, the CDC estimated. Top-of-the-line N95 and KN95 masks, the tight fitting face coverings often worn by health-care workers, cut the odds of infection by 83 percent, the health agency said.
It’s basic human decency to care for our fellow citizens. The science is unequivocal that masks (particularly non-cloth masks) can reduce the risk of catching coronavirus. Despite all the self-centered and insensitive arguments otherwise, wearing a mask to help the most vulnerable is a good thing to do.