It’s the modern-day shibboleth (a word, a way of saying something, a sign, a token that proves you to be trustworthy and a member of a society): Wearing a mask in public.

Wear your mask; prove you’re one of us.

In an informal survey we ran, 80 percent of respondents said they now wear a mask all the time or when they’re around other people. Comments they made most often condemn, more or less, those who flagrantly go without a mask.

We’re all Americans and it’s important to exercise our freedoms; it’s important to take a stand now and then. But we’re also Americans and it’s important to be a working part of our community ... to get along as necessary for the good of the community. Through our history, we’re known for our ability to cooperate for common cause as much as rebellion. Wearing a mask to help slow down the spread of the coronavirus is now a matter of patriotism.

Some types of masks are better than others, but respected members of the healthcare community are vocal and united in the assertion that any sort of mask is better than none – and coverings should cover both one’s nose and mouth. In a pinch, a bandana, a T-shirt, a scarf can be used to cover and cutback on the emission of the virus-carrying droplets.

We’re not going to get into or dwell upon too much of the finer points of mask making and wearing. We, like 80 percent of the more than 200 respondents in our informal survey, just want to see everyone cooperating on this one thing.

The days when you could be obstinate and sarcastic and tell people that if they didn’t like you not wearing a mask they could just stay home ...? It’s them, the masked, who have the right to be out and about (a little bit), not the bad sports.

 

Steve Miller is Editor of the Appeal-Democrat.

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