Michael Chernoff: ‘We’re all on the same side’

  • In this Sept. 2, 2020, file photo, a woman wears a mask as she walks on campus at San Diego State University in San Diego.  AP

Published: 9/30/2020 4:41:45 PM

Here’s what I don’t understand about the objection to wearing masks, even when the public health and medical experts are in agreement as to their value. Some say it’s an infringement on their personal liberty, but we already have all sorts of laws and cultural norms that also impinge on our ability to just do whatever we want.

Take smoking. Smoking is legal, yet we accept restrictions on when and where we can smoke. Smoke in your own house or car or back yard, but not in restaurants, theaters, bars, and so on.

Wearing a mask during this pandemic is the same. We accept limits, conditions and restrictions on our behavior to help ensure the health and safety of other people. All our freedoms have limits, sometimes by law and sometimes by custom. Some people appear to make an exception for masks for political reasons, even though doing so increases the risk to themselves and others in the community.

Imagine if the people during the London Blitz in World War II had said, “I’ll leave my lights on if I please. It’s my right.” How about a little community concern and a sense of common goals? In the COVID-19 war, we’re all on the same side. Let’s give ourselves a chance to win this thing.

Michael Chernoff


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