A year ago, who’d have expected Americans to be brawling in supermarket aisles over a piece of cloth? Such is 2020.
The nation has seen at least 15 shootings related to mask disagreements, two of them fatal.
And always- vs. never-masker tensions keep getting physical. Just last week, an 80-year-old man died from a push to the ground after confronting a maskless man. A brawl broke out in a plane when a man insisted his face shield was enough and refused to fully cover his mouth and nose. Over in the UK, a bloke kicked a non-masked woman on a bus, only to be taken down by other passengers.
Experts agree masks are a key public-safety tool in this pandemic. And no one wants to be put at risk because the guy in the next bus seat can’t handle the inconvenience of foggy glasses and chin sweat.
For all the noise from President Trump and challenger Joe Biden, masks shouldn’t be a political issue at all, much less one inciting riots. We should be united to stop the spread of the virus.
Politely reminding someone to “mask up” or leave a business shouldn’t risk a violent response. Nor should going maskless while socially distanced. But Americans keep losing it.
In all likelihood, the mask madness just happens to be the straw that broke the camel’s back of a quarantined nation, but it’s grown too serious to ignore. Yet the answer is simple: Wear a mask — but take care with the ignoramuses who don’t.
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