The mask wearing kerfuffle: does it really even have to be so hostile? A recent conversation with a friend was inspiring. Essentially the discussion revolved around just how little effort it was to wear a mask, so who really cares if we are asked too. We were looking at different aspects of mask wearing and subtracting things like politics, rights, science (yes, science is clear, but so many reject it anyway), and self-promotion.
Then, in a very empathetic way, he brought up a scenario. We know there is a pandemic and we know it can be deadly. We can argue all we want as to how effective masks are or just how deadly the virus really is. That's fine, there are "arguments", you can agree or disagree all you want, and your belief system can be what it is. The hostility thing is just unreasonable, regardless, but lets step away from the crazy a moment.
He pointed out that people are terrified. No, not all people, granted, but there are many. We all know or recognize these people; and if we don't personally know them, you can certainly see it on the news or social media. These are people that are afraid (and again, there are MANY of these people).
He wondered a bit as to why don't we just wear masks only to alleviate that fear a little bit. Let others know we care about them. When an anxious person sees others rejecting the current standards of mask wearing or distancing, it causes anxiety. Keeping your distance and wearing a mask is a really simple step for people such as these in just helping with the fear. This is kind. This is being considerate and courteous to people suffering from anxiety.
The bottom line is that wearing a mask, regardless of your political bent, beliefs, science, anger, or need for self expression, is really just a act of kindness for many, many people. You are helping people to "not be afraid". Why reject this easy opportunity to be kind to others?