Anti face mask rebels out of step with polls

637Views 4Comments Posted 22/05/2020

Author Anand Giridharadas on Friday shared on social media what he called an "end-of-empire" video featuring a compilation of Americans refusing to wear face masks in public places, purposefully coughing on others, and claiming their "freedom" is being trampled by public health guidance urging social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"A misbegotten, warped freedom obsession is killing us," Giridharadas tweeted.

In the video, one woman curses at and tries to hit a store employee after being refused entry for not wearing a face mask; another screams at workers and reaches over a plastic barricade to assault them; a man tells a Costco employee he doesn't have to wear a mask because he "woke up in a free country," and one woman tells a grocery store manager that she can't wear a mask due to a medical condition and that she can't use a delivery service because she wants to buy "private" items.

Several people also cough on and spit at essential employees.

"Freedom is wasted on people who think coughing on people is freedom," Giridharadas said.

The video follows a number of small but well-publicized demonstrations by people calling on state officials to fully reopen the economy and end all guidance urging social distancing and mask-wearing to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Many of the anti-quarantine protests are organized and promoted by groups with ties to Trump administration officials.

A HuffPost/YouGov survey published this week showed 62% of respondents said wearing a face mask is a matter of public health, not personal preference. More than half of those surveyed said they are currently wearing a mask whenever they are in a public place where they might come into contact with others.

Large majorities of respondents from across the political spectrum reported that they view mask-wearing as "respectful," not a sign of "weakness" or unnecessary fear of the virus.


Comments 4


A study release yesterday (Dr John Campbell ) available on Utube explains findings that if use of face masks were made mandatory Covid transmissions would be lowered by 50%. Actually equal to the drop through lockdowns . Cheap and effective as it reduces your ability to transmit droplets which could reach 25 feet ( sneezes) and 7 feet ( conversations). So if you wear one you protect me and if I wear one I protect you. It doesn't have to be medical grade mask to do this. Thats why they are becoming mandatory in many locations. Seems strange that in the cowboy era it was deemed normal to wear one by the macho guys ( sand and dust protection) but is now considered uncool by Trump and indeed many westerners. Its normal practise in Asia after all . So please mask up for me as I mask up for you.

4 months ago

IMO, I feel that Panamanians are showing “respect” by wearing a mask and the attitude is most commendable. I could cite scientific studies, however, which prove wearing a mask can be dangerous to the wearer and it’s usefulness at preventing C-19 transmission is ineffective (outside its use in a medical setting with the proper type of mask) and for limited wearing time. I wish those in power would respect freedom and make “a request” for wearing a mask as opposed to “forcing”. Where there is a risk, there should always be a choice. I suspect most people would comply with a mask-wearing request, however misguided.

4 months ago

This is about PANAMA. We are required to wear masks in Panama. Stores will not let you in without one and without taking your temperature. And I am thankful that people here seem to respect that requirement. The people in Panama show respect for themselves and others by complying with that requirement. I am thankful to be able to live in Panama.

4 months ago

Sight...another Trump left-wing hit piece. Why can't this communist rag stick to topics about PANAMA?

4 months ago
The comments are the responsibility of each author who freely expresses his opinion and not that of Newsroom Panama.
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