Apparently it is a significant “right” to some people that they not be required to wear a mask. They feel that wearing a mask is a form of oppression, that it impinges on their freedom.
Do those people feel the same way about driving drunk? Do they long for the freedom to get blasted and then cruise around the highways and streets?
These people seem to think that not wearing the mask only provides risk to themselves. This is wrong. Sure, masks provide some level of protection to the wearer, and I’m certainly wearing mine to keep me safe, regardless of those around me wearing them or not. But a significant part of wearing a mask is not to protect the wearer, but to protect others from the wearer. We’ve all heard by now about the “asymptomatic carrier”, i.e. a person who is infected but having mild or even no discernable symptoms but spreading the virus. It is this that the blanket directive to wear masks is meant to combat. You get infected, but don’t feel bad and go out in public and infect a dozen people all around you. However, they might not be so lucky and get a hard case that sends them to the hospital or the morgue.
Now it might be difficult to contact trace that individual back specifically to you, so you don’t necessarily see the direct consequence of your choice to not wear a mask. But the consequence is there. No, it’s not a guarantee that everyone not wearing a mask will infect someone, much less lead to someone’s death. But in the aggregate, it is definitely the case that some people not wearing masks are spreading the disease, and people getting the disease are dying. Or having life-altering consequences.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation now projects that 33,000 lives could be saved by universal mask wearing.
So the people out there clamoring for their right to not wear a mask are like if people were out there clamoring for their right to drive drunk. Innocents are at risk because of the action.
Wear a damn mask! (And not a chinstrap or a mouthguard.)