OPINION: Trying to Force Face Masks on Everyone is a Losing Game


As the United States gradually reopens, the issue of whether to wear a face mask or not wear a face mask is now highly controversial.

Many people subscribe to the idea that face masks are a great way to stop the spread of coronavirus. Individuals with this mindset present the flawed argument which asserts that anyone “could” be an asymptomatic carrier of coronavirus and hence has a moral and social duty to wear a mask.

Now, anyone with this mindset has the right to this mindset. What they don’t have, however, is the right to force everyone else to wear a mask. Not everyone views face masks favorably and individuals who are uncomfortable with wearing them have the right to refuse.

The Losing Game of the Face Mask Debate

There are all kinds of reasons why individuals may abstain from wearing a face mask. Some people view them as symbolic of the overblown fearmongering which the mainstream media has perpetuated regarding COVID-19. Then, you have other Americans who recognize the perils of government being able to force people to cover their faces.

Believe it or not, the numbers of coronavirus simply don’t support the notion that everyone is a carrier of COVID-19. As a matter of fact, the numbers have repeatedly demonstrated that COVID-19 infects a VERY small minority of the human population. Therefore, the premise that we should all act as if everyone is an asymptomatic COVID-19 carrier, and consequently wear face masks, is a false premise.

There are some realities that proponents of face masks need to understand. You have a right to wear a face mask, but you do not have the right to force someone else to cover their face. A person’s individuals rights and liberties do not end where coronavirus — or subsequent irrational fears — begin.

Finally, there will always be people who oppose face masks and are uncomfortable with wearing them. Shaming individuals with a different perspective on face masks is ultimately a losing game because it won’t change minds. To the contrary, shaming people only increases the likelihood of them digging their heels in even more as a means of opposition.

Sadly, there are already some Americans who have lost their lives by trying to force others to wear masks. Like the debate between remaining closed or reopening America, the issue with face masks remains very heated. Therefore, only one sensible solution remains; wear a face mask if you want, but also acknowledge that you will never get everyone else to do this.