Skepticism can border on paranoia. You're talking here about the social connotations of wearing a mask, but what you're ignoring are the commonsense medical effects. Before we knew how viruses work, in the Middle Ages, viruses spread rampantly and had huge death tolls. Washing hands and covering your mouth drastically lowers the spread and the death toll--not as an end in itself, but as a way of buying time until the vaccines are ready.

No one likes to wear these masks. The whole thing is very annoying. But the solution you hint at, establishing herd immunity by deliberately exposing ourselves to the virus, would entail vastly greater death tolls. That's why Boris Johnson backed off of that plan. He put the health and lives of his citizens ahead of their inconvenience and complaints about social symbols.

Honestly, the case you make here could have come straight from Ron Swanson, from the TV show Parks and Recreation.

The question here is about priorities. Assuming that wearing masks (and washing hands and quarantining yourself) greatly reduces the chance of spreading the virus, the question is whether we should inconvenience ourselves by wearing them, and setting aside our libertarian convictions when faced with stark evidence of nature's indifference to such conceits.

There are potential side effects of getting out of bed in the morning or of turning left instead of right. Focusing on those, without assessing their probability sounds more like paranoia than skepticism.

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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