No tests, no vaccine, no masks!

This ludicrous proclamation sounds like 5th-grade rhetoric, but it seems to have resonated with a small vocal minority.

Wearing a mask has long been seen as a sign of dissimulation and hypocrisy. But no more. These days it is an indication of mutual respect and solidarity.

The so-called “freedom” to go maskless is nothing but a misguided idea of what freedom really means. This word has often been discredited by its misuse. Everybody ought to understand that the right to act or to speak as you please is always subservient to higher concerns. Today the superior concern is the nation’s health as a whole.

The pseudo “freedom rebels” should remember that “One person’s freedom ends where another’s begins.” My neighbor can play his music as loud as he wants, as long as it does not interfere with my own rights. The minute it does, his “freedom” is curtailed.

The majority of (literate) citizens abides by this dictum and respects their neighbor’s well-being. Unfortunately, this issue has been politicized, and now serves as a tool to bait and further divide an already divided nation.

Wearing a mask should not be optional but mandatory and transgressors should be penalized. If they don’t care about their own stupid lives, that’s their sorry business. But when they endanger the rest of the population, this is our business and our right to chastise and penalize them… Or even brand them with a scarlet letter.

In the middle ages, lepers had to wear special clothes and ring a bell whenever they went. If the “freedom fighters” want to parade without masks, they should be constrained to wear such attire and ring such a bell.

By comparison, health workers should be praised and hailed as heroes. It is now worth repeating Winston Churchill’s declaration “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.” I was gratified to see that in their July 14th national parade, the French authorities included these shining examples prominently in their ceremony.

The throngs of young people ignoring the call to wear masks have the most to lose. They are just starting their lives and have only experimented a few of its many delights. Sexagenarians, septuagenarians or generations beyond, have already lived a full life and have much less to lose than the kids.

The question that young adults should ask themselves is “Are a few beers and a few hours of merriment worth mortgaging at least 50 years of your lives?”

Wear a mask and live.


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