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There is strong scientific evidence that wearing a mask reduces the risk of transmitting the coronavirus. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization recommend wearing them.
It is possible that people who have lost jobs might see masks as a threat that would further delay the reopening of the economy.
Everyone should also remember that in our daily lives, each of us undertakes activities that pose at least a little risk to others. Day-to-day activities such as grocery shopping or even having conversations with friends or neigbors carry a small risk of virus transmission.
Focusing on facts – rules that states, cities or private employers put in place to protect people – rather than blaming others might be a more effective way to convince them.
People on both sides of the mask debate have found reasons to turn this into a most contentious issue. Perhaps listening carefully and with empathy might help everyone understand that we all really are in this together.
Nicole Hassoun, Professor of Philosophy, Binghamton University, State University of New York