Though a lot of the attention is focused on America it is a global phenomenon. Let’s get one thing straight. Facial covering whether cloth or full on N95 work. If you reject that because of a video of guy shooting deodorant behind the mask. You’ll have to just go elsewhere. If you reject masks because you think you can’t breathe, they are harmful, or nobody can wear a mask 8 hours a day. There are lots of surgeons, nurses, farmers, industrial workers and many more who would disagree.
There are some darker threads I’ve been pulling to see where they led on anti mask wearing people.
I’m not saying this is accurate, obvious, or specifically scientific. I am saying it is interesting. Until the start of the pandemic as I traveled around the world (70+ countries and counting) I was always amazed how many people (before the pandemic) would wear face masks in Asia or were from Asia and wore masks in say New York City. I would be amused but not offended. However, I always noticed other people would openly mock people wearing face masks.
Now, consider that in Europe over the last decade there has been an open fight against the hijab and burka. Face coverings were considered social abusesand the counter terrorism fight further inflamed the racial and religious persecution of people who dared to cover their face. The ubiquitously inoffensive Canadians in Quebec made laws against having facial coverings. In the United States there was much gnashing and crying to force people to not wear facial coverings even for religious reasons. Numerous stores had signs stating do not enter store with face covered. Something I ran afoul of on my motorcycle while wearing a helmet a few times. This was supposedly about security and crime. However, I noticed it applied generally to Muslim females.
Now we have a pandemic and face masks are required. Adapt, change, and move on or fight science, logic and general consensus of society? Understand a N95 level personal protection mask protects you. Almost all the other forms of cloth masks protect OTHER PEOPLE. By, willfully not wearing a mask you are brandishing a desire for freedom without a sense of responsibility. This is the definition of anarchy. This is also closely associated with several social disorders reflecting conspiracy theories against political entities.
The anti-mask protestors have stated in several highly contentious confrontations they have a “god given”, Jesus derived right, gods breathing system, rule breaking right, non adherence to norm, or other form of protest. It is the Christian morality statements that masks are not godly, or that masks are an affront to god that I found very interesting. The most interesting thing is that now there is a budding religious scholarship thanks to COVID-19 that is looking for biblical references to masks. In general from Moses having to cover his face in the presence of god to a significant number of indications of modesty and face coverings. God apparently would rather you wear a mask is pretty much indicated by the Bible. Hiding salvation, or restricting the word of God according to the Bible is considered bad but not actually wearing a mask.
So, I’m left with many questions. Is the furor over masks actually a social, moral, religious derived panic misguided by a lack of understanding? Is it simply ignorance and anarchy placed into the social media memetic environment to churn as if Florida Man was somehow unique and not representative of culture at large? I claim neither to be a religious scholar, or some kind of expert on these questions. Seeking understanding used to be a positive value and the pursuit of knowledge a virtue. Not so much these days. Certitude and willful ignorance is unraveling a society wound tight by the stresses of a pandemic.