The Student News Site of Cape Coral High School

Masks do not contribute to the greater good

The government has a history of enforcing policies under the guise of maintaining the wellbeing of the public. Yet why should the state restrict constitutional rights and mandate the usage of masks even if these methods prove to be ineffective? How much power and control should the state have over the individual before it becomes too much?

With the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple US states put restrictions on movement and activity as attempts to curb the virus. Most notably, states like California and New York banned outdoor dining and set curfews, while states like Florida were put under fire for a supposed mishandling of COVID-19. 

The reality is that states like California and New York just curbed civil liberties and constitutional rights in the name of keeping the public healthy, but it did little to nothing to impact the rate of infection in the end. In order to prove that these policies had a reason for being, some governors underreported their numbers. They held a totally disingenuous policy on lockdowns and mask mandates, and they know it.

 The argument for mask mandates falls apart with even the slightest bit of questioning. If masks haven’t been effective at controlling the spread, then why does the government mandate them? If state mandated lockdowns and restrictions in liberal states haven’t been effective, why should we implement them nationwide? 

Why must we all contribute towards a security theater rather than reasonable change? If masks aren’t effective at keeping the virus from spreading, then why bother? Is there a legitimate argument in favor of this outside of one made of compassion? 

I am not arguing against wearing masks, I am just strictly against the concept that the government should be able to decide that for us. If states who didn’t put such strict COVID regulations did well, why should we listen to the states that are not only lagging behind, but had to lie about their numbers to save face. 

The government has no place in the lives of citizens; it should not dictate how people live their lives. We must always be wary of how much power the administrative state exercises over individual people. If the role of the government is to provide services to help people and maintain order, how much of our own liberty should we delegate to the government for the sake of staying safe as a collective? 

Instead of mask mandates and unconstitutional requirements on the person, we could leave it up to each individual and private business to decide. The reason people wear masks, beyond government policies, is a sense of civic duty. They wear masks for the comfort and safety of others, despite feeling it is ineffective at keeping the virus from spreading.

It is that sense of civic duty that would keep people wearing masks without the government enforcing it. Masks should be worn on a voluntary basis, rather than required by some government entity. 

America is growing tired of the fear mongering. Around the beginning of the pandemic, the argument for lockdowns and masks were a lot stronger. Yet, as we get vaccinated, officials continue to insist that masks are still necessary.

Which… makes no sense.

Why would we continue to quarantine and wear masks if we are vaccinated? What is the purpose or logic behind such a policy?

People like Dr. Fauci would much rather talk to the media and run another interview than truly lead a COVID recovery effort. There is something truly wrong with the direction of a pandemic when the people who we look to for leadership can be more easily seen on the nightly news than doing their jobs.

Earlier, I noted the media pressure on Governor DeSantis as being totally different from how the media treated Governors Cuomo and Newsom. Governor DeSantis was put under intense scrutiny for not shutting down the Floridian economy. Yet, where was the media coverage for the failures of California and New York? 

Long term, DeSantis handled COVID-19 very well. Florida’s economy did not crumble and reports of COVID-19 fell down as expected. Meanwhile, the states that were formerly praised for their lockdowns and “precautions” are now the states that are lagging behind national recovery. 

So if lockdowns aren’t working,

If masks aren’t effective,

If the government forcing masks doesn’t work,

If hands-off states performed better long term,

And if people are getting vaccinated,

Then why do we still do it?

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