Chris Nelson ("No going back from mandatory masks," July 8 Gazette) pitches a sad tale of the possibility that compulsory mask-wearing could become permanent, but he doesn't present a single reason why that would be a bad thing. A mask is a layer of fabric over one's mouth and nose. Dental hygienists and automotive painters have worn masks for their entire work day for decades without losing their individuality or freedom. Other countries have a routine public health tradition of people wearing masks when they might be contagious. It's not oppressive.
Has Mr. Nelson noticed that the oppressive government in years past has forced citizens to wear shoes in almost all public spaces? Those who would prefer total toe freedom have been forced to comply or stay home. They adapted.
If 80 per cent of us wore masks in public routinely, we could reduce the spread of COVID-19 by 60 to 70 per cent, according to the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams. Not being able to see everyone's dazzling smile is a small price to pay for that reduction in illness.
I'm gladly wearing a mask.