Often when writers want to overcome push back to wearing masks, they bring up the initial refusals to wear seat belts as they were introduced in American automobiles. This really isn’t an accurate analogy.

Yes seat belts were inconvenient and the earliest version uncomfortable. But technology over came these two items. And then education and highway safety laws overcame the majorities reticence to using them.

But comparing the seat belt issue to the current one over face masks doesn’t quite work.

Seat belts protect the user. If you drive you car into a tree, seat belts will help protect you. The tree is out of luck. If you strike another car, you will be protected, but not the occupants of the other car unless they too are wearing their seat belts. If you hit a pedestrian, the seat belt will still protect you but is of no value to the pedestrian. So the seat belt protects its user whether as a driver or passenger. So the story is an easier sell since you only have to convince someone to protect their own health and well being.

So if you hit that tree without your seat belt, yes, you made a choice and you alone will suffer the consequence.

Face masks…or face coverings as the right is now calling them…for the most part protect others from….you…if you are contagious. So it’s a harder sell for those who only care about protecting themselves or hold that they aren’t responsible for the well being of others. So yes if they get COVID-19 for not wearing a mask their health is at their own risk…except it isn’t since it’s a communicable disease. A very possibly invisible communicable disease if they are asymptomatic.

Now, you want a car analogy? Drunk driving laws. If a driver is operating his vehicle while drunk and smacks that poor tree…yes he is suffering the consequences of his own actions. The problem with drunk driving is too often it causes injury and death to others…when the drunk runs a stop sign and hits another vehicle…crosses the center line and hits another vehicle…proceeds in the wrong direction and hits another vehicle. These are injuries and deaths that are preventable…just as COVID-19 is if everyone would wear a mask in public.

Ex-Federal Health Officials Encourage Mask Use To Counter COVID-19 Surges

You know, we know that if a large percentage of population – one state showed if 60% of people wear masks that are 60% effective, that alone can reduce the transmission rate below one, so you have a shrinking epidemic rather than an expanding epidemic.

I think if we told people that they would do exactly what Scott said with a simple 99 cent something over their face and they would only need to do it for a short period of time, it’s the greatest bargain of all time. You know, the Czech Republic put on masks early. They had reported 80% mask use, and now they don’t even need to wear masks anymore.

emphasis mine
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