“Mask Shaming and Virtue Signaling”
I take a mask with me when I go out.
I put it on when asked or required to do so when entering a commercial establishment.
I’m not proud of it.
I’m not ashamed of it.
I wear it because our state requires it.
If they didn’t…I wouldn’t because I have asthma and masks make breathing even more difficult than it is already.
Simple as that.
Based on my observations, here in our little village by the sea, roughly three-quarters of the people out and about are not wearing masks. I have no problem with this because, at the end of the day, California’s guidelines are just that…”guidelines.” Not law.
Others feel a bit more strongly than I do, expressing moral superiority by calling out fellow citizens for being unmasked. “Mask shaming” is just another form of virtue signaling, i.e. the conspicuous communication of moral values and good deeds. My question is, “What the hell business is it of theirs?” Especially since—based on actual science—wearing a mask is not by any means a guarantee against contracting the virus.
I don’t know if you recall, but back in March (Remember March? I don’t. But I’ve read about its existence in the history books) the CDC didn’t initially recommend masks (their logic at the time being that masks would lend a “false sense of security” regarding blocking the virus). Then in April, the recommendation was amended to state that, “the public should wear a cloth covering over their faces when in confined areas where social distancing is challenging.” Get that? “Should.” Once again, not a law.
In the latest iteration, we have now been told that while masks will protect against inhaling droplets that are expelled when someone coughs or sneezes, it won’t protect you if the virus is airborne or lying on a surface that you touch. Why? Well, the virus is tiny. “How small is it?” Take, for instance, the diameter of a human hair…two-to three hundred viruses would fit together inside that hair. That’s because the largest virus is still around a hundred times smaller than a bacterium in size. What this means is that the virus can easily penetrate the fibers of ANY mask, and unless people are continually sterilizing surfaces, you can’t really do anything to stop surface contact short of constantly wearing and disposing of gloves.
What should we conclude from this? Masks aren’t worthless, but, they are far from one-hundred percent effective in protecting you, or anyone else for that matter, from contracting the virus. Should you wear one? If you so desire and your state and local government requires it. If not…don’t.
Back to the mask shamers and virtue signalers. As far as I’m concerned, they have no moral high ground from which to pontificate and declaim against their fellows, for there exists no bonafide certitude upon which to base their superiority. It’s a matter of choice. Period. Stop criticizing people for reading all the data, all the metrics and coming to a different conclusion than you. Just. Stop it! You’re not an expert and neither am I. You have an opinion. Good. Be happy with your opinion and stop trying to force it on someone else.
I like what someone said, “When the issue of masks first arose, health experts worried that people would develop a false sense of security about wearing them. They’d feel invulnerable and not take other safety precautions like practicing social distancing and washing your hands frequently. What they didn’t count on was the ‘busybody factor.’ Give someone an opportunity to feel more virtuous than their neighbor…and they’ll grab it every time.” RG…out!