For the past week, I've had the immortal words of George Costanza echoing through my brain: "You know we're living in a society!"
If there's one thing most people can agree on, it's that wearing a mask or facial covering helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infections disease expert, said he wears a mask because they're "effective." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier this week, "There's no stigma attached to wearing a mask."
Even MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and Fox News host Sean Hannity — as separated by personal beliefs and politics as any two people in the country — have urged their viewers to wear masks.
"The analysis, published studies, and also just the trends in the country of where people are wearing masks versus not — all of that tells us that masks are effective, probably about 50% reduction," Christopher Murrary, the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, said on CNN Thursday night. "It's a powerful tool to protect yourself and to protect your family."
Yet over the weekend, images from places like Ocean City, Md. and Miami Beach, Fla. showed maskless people in close proximity to one another, as if over 100,000 of their fellow countrymen haven't lost their lives in just a span of a few months.
So what's the disconnect? Many clearly side with President Trump and his refusal to wear a mask in public, while some view the masks as a symbol of government overreach. Others just find them extremely uncomfortable, especially outside in the heat and sun. Then there's the small but vocal anti-science crowd, people that believe global climate change is a myth and vaccines are harmful (just 50% of people in a recent poll said they'd take a coronavirus vaccine once its available).
There's just no good way to respond to any of it, which is why so few governors have required residents to wear them. I'm certainly not going to convince anyone of something Fauci, Hannity and everyone in between has been already harping about.
All I can really do is turn to another Seinfeld quote, this time from George's father, Frank: " Serenity now, serenity now. "
Originally published by The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.