It's comforting to see so many people wearing masks in public places. Conversely, it's disheartening to see the many people not wearing them.
Early on, there was some confusion about the benefits of wearing masks, but there is no question now. A recent Foreign Policy magazine article compared the U.S. COVID-19 results with Japan’s: "As of May 14, Japan had 687 fatalities directly attributed to COVID-19 nationwide, equal to 5 per million people. That compares with a total of 85,268 deaths, or 258 per million, in the United States.”
The only difference between the two countries’ response to the virus is wearing of masks, not testing or social distancing. The Japanese people wear masks routinely, and now universally.
Some people feel that masks impinge on their freedom, and they don’t want to be told what to do, yet they are willing to stop at red lights and drive on the right side of the road. The purpose of all these rules is public safety.
I’m disappointed that the president won’t model the desired behavior and wear a mask, because people would follow his lead. While masks protect others, the evidence shows that if everyone wears masks, wearers are also protected — provided everyone is masked. I would assert that wearing a mask demonstrates patriotism, because loving your country means loving its citizens.