The reasoning is pretty simple: If you don’t wear a mask, you can infect other people. Not because you become sick, or have a fever, or have any sign of COVID-19, but because “asymptomatic” carriers of COVID-19 — and even those who’ve just been infected within the last few days but aren’t showing symptoms yet — can infect everyone around them really easily. Contrary to the misrepresentations posted in some of the answers in this thread, ALL of the science confirms that mask-wearing slows or stops the spread of COVID. That is in fact how other countries have successfully reduced community spread (sometimes down to zero!): mandatory mask-wearing in public.
So in this context, wearing a mask is pretty much identical to not constantly spraying machine gun fire into the air while walking around in a crowd. It doesn’t matter that the person spraying bullets doesn’t “intend harm” to others, because there is a very high likelihood they will harm someone by behaving this way. It’s really a simple cause-and-effect relationship: spraying bullets in the air in crowded areas is going to kill some people. What solidifies this comparison is the fact that, by not wearing a mask, it is also LOT more likely that the mask-rebel themselves will contract COVID and become a spreader — making the risk exponentially higher to everyone around them.
Here are some other things that are reasonably unlawful and highly dangerous, and are in the same category as not wearing a mask in public during COVID:
- Driving a vehicle at high speed down a street crowded with pedestrians.
- Having lots of unprotected sex with strangers every day against their will, when there is an increasing likelihood (from this very behavior) that we are transmitting a lethal STD.
- Being the driver of a school bus full of children who parks the bus across a busy train track several times a day because we insist we deserve to have a nap anywhere we want (and nobody can tell us we can’t nap anywhere we want to!)
- Inviting our friends over for a fun-filled evening at our home and feeding them carcinogenic foods for dinner (because hey, WE don’t think carcinogens cause cancer, and we don’t believe the scientists who do!).
Again, though, this is really about politicians creating divisions, polarization, and “Us vs Them” rhetoric, so that their followers can be easily manipulated to feel angry, afraid, and be lured into lockstep loyalty with deceptive groupthink.
I suppose the easiest way to summarize this idea is to say that folks who refuse to wear a mask during the COVID pandemic are basically unwilling or unable to question propaganda and indoctrination, and seemingly would rather kill people than offend their peers or educate themselves about doing the right thing.
My 2 cents.
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