Wearing Masks and the U.S. Constitution

Joe Luca

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Photo courtesey of Pixabay - by Syaibatulhamdi

To mask or not to mask, that seems to be the question. The Republican led legislature in Wisconsin, is repealing their mask mandate. Apparently Covid-19 is extremely fond of cheese and beer and is leaving that state relatively alone – say, compared to its neighbors Michigan and Minnesota.

While the Governor of Iowa is rolling back Covid-19 restrictions in that state, such as the use of mask and social distancing. According to Gov. Reynolds’ spokesperson Pat Garrett, "The governor has been consistent since the beginning of the pandemic and is following through with her commitment to dial back restrictions based on a significant decrease in COVID hospitalizations."

So … no longer as needed if less people are queuing up right outside a hospital. Hmm.

We know that the coronavirus has been mutating over the past several months, and variants of the virus (such as the UK and Brazilian variants) have been spreading across the globe. Mostly due to travel, where humans get into planes, trains and automobiles, cross national or state borders, interact with the locals, while misting the air around them with their particular variant and then going back home to remain quietly unawares in their own bubble.

And while the virus is mutating, so apparently has our understanding of the purpose of a mask. Previously designed to prevent the spread of airborne diseases – such as the common cold, or flu, or prevent people from casually sneezing on others during routine procedures, like dentistry, it has somehow morphed into a constitutional issue.

Somewhere along the lines of the rights to bear arms or freedom of speech.

Even though wearing a mask and washing our hands has been a known deterrent to the spread of the disease, many people continue to push back against it, as if refusing to succumb to the “political pressures” to wear a mask will somehow persuade the coronavirus itself to move elsewhere, by sheer force of will.

Like standing in from of the local Kroger’s supermarket with a placard demanding sweeter apples, will somehow prompt management to get right on it and produce them.

I don’t think Covid-19 knows how to read or particularly cares about who it infects. Afterall, it is an organism with an imperative to survive and if it survives in a republican host or a democratic one, I really don’t think it cares.

But in this case, if more and more republicans across the country refuse to wear a mask on the grounds that it is their constitutional right to do so, then I suppose Covid-19 might actually appreciate the gesture and simply have more hosts available.

Like the aforementioned Kroger’s market having more varieties of apples – both sweet and tart to choose from.

So, to all those who think wearing a mask, protecting your grandparents and children and generally defeating an enemy at home - is a bad thing and personally demeaning – then Covid-19 thanks you.

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To inform, entertain, enlighten and otherwise engage in the age-old practice of storytelling. To be part of the process of keeping all of us informed on what is happening in the world around us and perhaps, if I do my job well enough, bring about change in the way we control our own lives and make the decisions that will impact our future and those of the people we care about.

Los Angeles, CA
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