Guest opinion: The four kinds of anti-maskers
I joined the “Ask Midway” Facebook group expecting to engage in very vanilla discussions about cheese, ATVs, Swiss Days and how great it is to live near Park City without living in Park City.
I was wrong.
Although there certainly were posts asking for plumber recommendations and help searching for lost puppies, what surprised me was the over-the-top passion whenever the discussion ventured near the issue of wearing or not wearing masks in this pandemic environment.
I had no idea the amount of enmity this subject would engender.
The calmer people were generally of the view “it is a minor inconvenience, but if there is a chance it reduces the spread of this terrible, deadly disease, I am willing to make the sacrifice.” Humbly, I ascribe to this approach.
What took me aback was the vitriol spewed by the “anti-maskers.”
I will break them down into a four groups: the Bravehearts, the “Dr. Fauci was wrong in March, why should we believe him now” group, the Shepherds and those that think that this is all a hoax.
The Bravehearts are the ones that scream “Freedom!” even as their neighbors and so many fellow Utahns are dying. They use terms such as “slippery slopes” to suggests that first “they” will make us wear masks and pretty soon we will have to wear shirts and shoes at the risk of not getting service.
And, by the way, we all know how that movie turned out for William Wallace/Mel Gibson.
The “Dr. Fauci lied in March” group responds that the respected epidemiologist questioned the effectiveness of masks back in the spring, ignoring that he has since publicly recommended wearing masks about 150 times. The thinking goes, apparently, that because Dr. Fauci changed his mind, he must be wrong now … or then … or … I am confused.
The Shepherds said, and I am quoting this exactly as posted, “if you wear a mask, you are just sheep and the government is going to come get you first!” Come get me? The government can’t even agree on a budget and they are going to come get me? I like my chances.
And finally, there are the hoax-ers. They actually said that this virus is going to go away on Nov. 4. They are implying that it is in someone’s electoral interest (blue? red?) to overplay the significance of the killing of 150,000 Americans. They suggest that it is part of some sophisticated scheme to affect the results of elections. If this were the case, who needs Russians?
I won’t even categorize the guy (although he would probably want the publicity) who told me after I said I was going to wear a mask, “did Trump tell you to say that? Why don’t you go drink bleach?” This is fascinating in so many ways and I did not and will not honor it with a response, though I am biting my tongue…
Not what I expected from the good people of Midway, nestled at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains.
Having read all of the insightful comments from this Facebook community, and possibly demonstrating my disregard for the Bill of Rights, my belief in the evolving wisdom of Dr. Fauci, my lack of concern about the government coming to get me, and my certainty that this virus will not just mysteriously go away in November, I intend to keep wearing my mask.
I hope you will, also.
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A reader writes in a guest editorial that more communication from health officials is needed as the pandemic continues.