Division Behind the Mask: The Political Climate of 2020
If I told you ten years ago that in 2020 the concept of wearing a mask would be something highly contested and scrutinized, I’m sure you wouldn’t believe me. There’s no way something as simple as wearing a mask could become something so politically divisive. Well, in the year 2020 the line was drawn in the sand.
There were people who wore masks and people who didn’t. While I’m not supporting the actions of people who choose not to sacrifice their own comfort for the health of others, it is true that each side has grown equally bitter towards the other, and that is the main issue we as a country face. Although one would think the fight to cure a deadly disease would bring us together, 2020 has only succeeded in making us more divided.
This division carried over into 2021 even after the availability of vaccines, as many still refuse to get them, as well as refuse to wear a mask. This may have some serious consequences on our future health as a nation, especially as mask mandates begin to ease up.
Many establishments will be relying on their patrons to be honest about their vaccination status, rather than provide any form of verification. With the political climate of wearing a mask, this might offer people an excuse to lie to get out of it.
The danger doesn’t lie simply with the coronavirus, but also with the political climate surrounding it. We’ve already placed ourselves into groups, pro-mask and anti-mask, finding validation within our own spectrums. In order for us as Americans to break free of the shackles of COVID-19, we need to acknowledge we are all in the same sinking vessel, and the only way out of it is if we band together regardless of where we stand on the political spectrum. In the words of President Joe Biden,
We’ve had too much conflict, too much bitterness, too much anger, too much polarization of this issue about wearing masks. Let’s put it to rest.