In my first post on this Covid-19 Therapy Blog, I talked about my Libertarian instincts and why I think mask-wearing should be a personal choice, not something mandated by the State. Here I explore this a bit more (in this short* post).
For your own good?
We let people engage in all sorts of risky behaviour, even behaviour that can harm others. For example, we don’t enforce mask-wearing for those who have a cold or other sicknesses, nor in my opinion should we.
But okay, let’s say for argument’s sake that this virus is sufficiently lethal that we needed to be told to mask up at threat of criminal sanction, the question remains: for how long, and at what cost?
My daughter is three. She has never known a normal world. We used to laugh at the East Asian fetish for the mask. Let’s get sick, let’s build our immune system! That’s what we used to say. But yes, let’s look after our vulnerable so they are not at undue risk (by keeping them at home, for example). This is the way it always was: humane, free, but responsible.
We also used to scorn the niqab and other garments which veil a person’s face and take away their humanity. Yet now those who don’t mask up are seen as scum. Worse, they will be fined or arrested.
What effect will it have on my daughter not growing up seeing people’s faces? This thing has gone on for two years. Two years is nothing. But for my daughter, two years is her whole world. I’m thirty-seven. It’s no exaggeration to say that her last two years are equal to my last thirty-six; it’s all she’s ever known. I fear for my beautiful girl and what this normalising of not seeing people’s faces, what this fetishisation for a lack of germs, is doing to her.
*My personal definition of “short” is less than 300 words, maximum; more than that, and a blog posts starts to feel like an essay.
**The Wikipedia page on Libertarianism which I linked you to says this: Libertarianism is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, emphasizing free association, freedom of choice, individualism and voluntary association.
© 2021-2022 Bryan A. J. Parry
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