With all due respect to the musings of Shakespeare, it appears that wearing a face mask (or not) during a global pandemic has become the moral and political question of our time.
And I’ll admit that I’m not thrilled about wearing a face mask whenever I leave the relative safety of home. Yet I’m also not enthusiastic about the prospect of getting ill with a virus that has killed more than 120,000 Americans and counting.
Yet the face mask dilemma pretty much illustrates the administration’s fatally flawed response to this crisis.
Clearly, months ago the medical experts — including the good doctor Fauci and his cohorts at the CDC — didn’t understand the seriousness of the virus or how it spread or even to whom. So we entered the fray with an abundance of messages that as it turns out didn’t move the ball forward even an inch: masks don’t do any good, only the old and seriously ill could get the virus and so on.
Now the messages have changed, and everyone is being urged (in some cases required) to wear a face mask and we are told younger people are just as likely to get the virus as their elderly parents or grandparents.
I worked in communication related jobs for nearly 40 years, and I can say from personal experience that there is nothing worse than giving your audience a mixed message. Once someone grabs hold of information that supports their own beliefs, changing that message and getting them to believe something else is almost impossible.
And then add into the mix POTUS, someone who defines the Peter Principle and is so inept that he can’t find his ass with both hands in the dark. But at some level you have to give him credit. He managed to turn wearing a face mask into a political issue, and if you a caught wearing one in public you are a wuss while the true patriots are out there bare faced and protecting their constitutional rights and personal freedoms.
Good grief. If we took that approach during WWII, we would all be speaking German or Japanese today. I digress.
Okay. I get it. As Patrick Henry said: “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Still, I’m not convinced that these modern day patriots have given this all the thought or study that they should. Again, some mixed messages.
So I guess I’ll take the advice of the medical experts. And realistically, I don’t know if wearing a face mask does any good or not. But if nothing else, wearing one seems to say that I care enough not to want to contract the virus myself or pass it along to someone else.
That seems to be a rather straightforward message.
To mask or not to mask?
That is the question.