Masks and patriotism

December 30, 2020


As I read in the Dec. 15 edition of the Mohave Valley Daily News about the “Patriots” who don’t want to wear masks to protect their fellow citizens from COVID-19, I wondered what exactly makes them partiotic?

If they are using the U.S. Constitution as an excuse to forego wearing masks, I’d like to point out that the preamble to that document contains the phrase “promote the general welfare…”. If that doesn’t mean caring for your fellow citizens by following common-sense recommendations from our government, I don’t know it means.

Wearing a mask, the simplest way to mitigate COVID-19, for just a few months until enough people have been vaccinated would be a patriotic gesture that Americans ought to be willing–and proud–to do.

Yes, I understand that there are people with certain health conditions who cannot wear one, but that doesn’t appear to be the argument made by this group.

Australians love their freedom as much as we Americans, yet because they followed with governmental mandates, their COVID-19 numbers are much lower. Even taking into account that their population is a little less than 10% of ours, their numbers of deaths is a mere 0.3% of ours. Masks are no longer required, their lives are pretty much back to normal, and yet many still choose to wear them when in large groups. They didn’t wait for people to get sick, then treat them with drugs like hydroxychloroquine that have proven to be ineffective.

Show me the studies that have shown that masks don’t work? Why do surgeons wear them if they don’t work? Ever heard that old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” But, I digress. Back to Australia.

According to a friend of mine who lives there, there were two cases one recent week in Sydney, a city of 5.31 million residents. Others who have tested positive are people who are returning to the country and are quarantined. As she puts it, “Sometimes, you have to give up your freedoms for a little while for the best of everyone.”

Compare wearing a mask to the sacrifices made during World War II. During that war, Americans were asked to sacrifice in many ways, including rationing of items such as sugar, butter, canned milk and gasoline. Every family had a War Ration Book.

Looking back, we applaud the ways Americans supported the war effort–they were patriotic in doing so–and that went on for years. We currently are in a war against this deadly virus and the “soldiers” are members of the health community. It hasn’t been a year yet.

Wearing a mask is so simple. We aren’t that wimpy. We can “sacrifice” and support them simply by wearing masks to keep them from having to care for more of our fellow citizens who become sick enough to be hospitalized–just for a few more months.

We are almost there.

Ruby Miller, Bullhead City

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