To mask or not to mask? That is the question.

in #masking2 months ago


I’ve been hiking and camping in state and national parks through several states during the last two months. Very rarely have I seen anyone wearing a mask at a campground or on a trail.

This morning I’m riding a Washington state ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. The whole boat is masked up. Most passengers are keeping their masks on even when outside on the upper decks.

I’ve had COVID.

I’ve been vaccinated.

And though I suppose I could be infected by a new strain of the virus, I am no longer afraid.

As I travel around the country, I see the economic devastation wrought by a combination of the virus and our reaction — or perhaps our overreaction — to it.

We need to keep thinking and keep talking about the best ways to handle this pandemic and its profound adverse effects on our individual lives and on our society. Intelligent, educated, well-informed and well-meaning people differ and disagree on these topics. We should not denigrate the sceptics. We should not dismiss the doubters. Neither science nor wisdom speaks with one voice about how to end the pandemic and save more lives without killing more jobs and prolonging our isolation. We have no national consensus on what to do now.

To mask or not to mask? That’s not the only question, but it is one of them.