In so far as wearing the masks has a political or tribal dimension, I think it's mainly a case of trusting in scientists and experts. That trust can go too far, as can any faith.

Many of the Covid "skeptics," however, who happen also to be conservative or libertarian Trumpians wrap themselves in the flag and think of themselves as patriots for standing up against the mob. But their self-image would be more credible if they hadn't been acting like patent trolls for four years. This is the problem with libertarianism, the presumption that you can have maximum freedom with zero accountability.

There's a difference between fighting for freedom and being a douchebag. Lots of American conservative conspiracy theorists think they're freedom fighters because they know how to find rubbish on the internet. The proof of their rebelliousness, for them, is the sheer craziness of their beliefs. The more crazy conspiracies they believe, the more individualistic they seem to be. This is a warped view of freedom; the bar has been lowered.

Anyway, I agree, as I said, there can be unintended effects of policies, and the experts will have to judge which policy does the most damage, wearing the mask or walking around without one in the middle of a pandemic. There will be tradeoffs either way.

My point here is that it's very hard to trust in the wisdom of these skeptics and naysayers when a great many of them (the Brexiteers, Trumpians, and various European authoritarian backlashers) have shown, rather, that they're paranoid trolls.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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