On the Resistance of Europeans and Americans to Face Covering

Many of my friends in Asia wonder why people in European countries and North America are not embracing the idea of face covering during such a pandemic. My observation is that basically ten reasons lie behind their reluctance to wear PPE. Some are just asinine, and others are even illogical. But this is what a “free” community is like: everyone is allowed to make their own decisions and think independently 1.

  1. “We should leave PPE to first responders and medical workers.”
  2. “People can’t use it properly, so it’s of limited use.”
  3. “Health authorities have not asked us to.”
  4. “My family doctor has not asked me to.”
  5. “Only wearing face masks does not suffice.”
  6. “Masks are only for the sick. I’m not sick, though.”
  7. “Nowhere to get mine. Whoever requires face masks should supply them.”
  8. “Nobody is entitled to require face masks. To cover my face or not is up to me.”
  9. “The government is overstating the situation for some reason.”
  10. “We’re already abiding by these social distancing rules. Why would we need masks?”

In a “free” community, people may benefit from their own sagacity or suffer from their own insanity. This is just the way of the world, very natural and unsurprising. No community in this world would guarantee to benefit ALL individuals with an authoritarian, centralized operation without shafting its people.


  1. Thinking independently could also mean thinking while being influenced unknowingly. 

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