Why Are We Still Wearing Masks?

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"Hands in gloves hold a globe in a medical mask. The concept of the fight against coronavirus in the world" by wuestenigel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

David Marcus, a political commentator, has a lot to say about our assistance to wear masks. Last Monday, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relaxed mask rules a little more, allowing the vaccinated to travel barefaced in outdoor settings.

Even if the new instruction is a minor step toward normalcy, some Americans seemed unwilling to forego the facial covering.


“Stop coronavirus concept. Earth planet in protective medical mask and a disposable syringe” by focusonmore.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Masks have become more of a symbol of virtue than a protective instrument in many circumstances during the last year.

Marcus pointed out that this is a serious issue. Tools are easily thrown away. When the job is finished, you immediately put the ax or saw away. With symbols, however, this is not the case. Symbols become such a part of life, mingling with our sense of self-worth.

Why do some people continue to wear face masks that are long past their expiration date? It’s clear that it’s not solely for medical reasons. It’s usually because their clothing has become an integral part of their identity.

Just after CDC amended their recommendations on April 3, 2020, they became necessary and obligatory.

Nobody’s ever described how or why this happened. Some of the individuals who questioned the effectiveness of masks laughed about using two masks to protect themselves from the illness; yet, surely, that would become the recommendation. We were told that was only basic sense.

Biden is to Blame

Biden has worn masks in silly situations which have nothing to do with research; this includes when outside and socially detached, since day one of his presidency. He has been the only global leader masked up on a Zoom call even this year.

We were assured that Biden was simply setting a great example. He’s not; instead, he was establishing a paranoid, cult-like example. He set the example that wearing a mask indicated you cared; it indicated you were concerned about the illness and that it makes you a decent person.

It’s no surprise that many people are afraid of seeming like a Republican or, heaven forbid, a Trump fan if they remove the mask. The face mask has become like what the MAGA hat has been for Republicans, a symbol.


Trump’s Approach

Trump took a different approach to this. He only used masks when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised it. He was emphatic in his refusal to accept the mask as an emblem. The media twisted this into Trump’s anti-mask stance.

It was a fabrication. Trump didn’t disagree with the CDC’s advice on masks; he just hesitated to go further than it, into the arena of performance, where masks had become a symbol.

Something as foreseeable as a sunrise has happened now. Despite the CDC’s declaration, Americans, particularly those on the left, are having difficulty removing their masks.

Many people have no idea why. It’s peer pressure for some, a false sense of security for others, and a sign of belonging to the enlightened tribe for still others.