It strikes me that is is incredibly consistent with this generation, that even common understanding over masks cannot be had.
People are screaming at the top of their lungs the "right answer" for the question. The problem is that the questions are different and people refuse to accept that there are different things to be considered.
1. Masks don't protect well. Accepted. IF the question is "Should we wear masks to protect ourselves?"
2. Masks would benefit society if we all wore them. Yes. That answer is also 100% correct. It answers the question, "How can we reduce transmission of COVID-19 in our population?"
The reason why is that if we ALL wear masks, it's to reduce the infected, both symptomatic and asymptomatic from spreading the disease as they exhale. It simply is NOT scientific to argue that reducing the distance breath can travel does not benefit "the herd".
There is a passionate argument that people who wear masks will touch themselves and then load their hands with virus. Granted. However, in many cases, there's no touching the individuals around you. Again, the key is reducing the amount of virus in the atmosphere.
Why is it important at all?
Because, as seen in Taiwan, societal acceptance of universal mask wearing DOES indeed work, and doesn't require an economy crushing infinite shelter in place strategy.
I'm an American born and raised so don't make the mistake of believing that I don't "get" freedom. Those who know me, know I believe in the Oath and that it never expires. I believe in freedom. I believe in the ability to make one's own choices.
But the vast majority of us make these kinds of choices every day. We choose to exercise caution when we drive, even if we are legally permitted to drive far more aggressively. Why? Because we don't want to get into an accident.
We can also choose to engage in a group protective behavior AND insist that (for the vast majority of individuals, those who are not in a special risk category) to open up and free people from their homes so they engage in life once more.
To choose to not wear masks because it doesn't make us "feel" free, is to base decisions on emotions and frankly, makes us a lot more like the left than we want to believe.
We can be free, and we can also choose to do things because it's going to be good for the next person... not only because it benefits us. In doing so, we will collectively engage in a behavior that benefits all, and supports freedom.