One thing that I’ve heard often from authorities during the COVID era is that they can’t police mask wearing. Schools state that they can’t possibly enforce something like that, lawmakers and some LEOs argue that it’s a matter of constitutional freedom that they can’t override, and other LEOs just decline to do so. But enforcing clothing restrictions is routine and generally uncontroversial for any of these groups. Schools have dress codes, lawmakers are happy to pass indecent exposure laws even ones with obvious equal protection issues, and cops are happy to arrest people for walking about naked or inadequately closed.
So, why is it routine and easy for states to require the genitals and anus to be covered, but can’t do the same for nose and mouth now? Why do so many schools insist that a mask is a step too far, but are fine with having female students do a ‘fingertip test’ for skirt/shorts length? Why is “No shirt, no shoes, no service” routine but “No mask, no service” a big deal? I am obviously aware that there is a strong political movement against masks, but what I am trying to examine here is if there is any actual reason that mandating masks should be harder than mandating pants. Whether legal, medical, or even just simple reasoning, I can’t see how one can make any kind of reasoned argument that masks are fundamentally different than other clothing that is mandated without issue (or with only equal protection issues)?