Masking is Manners
In my etiquette seminars at the university and classes for kids, I always tell students that etiquette is all about having respect for another person. Let’s talk about masks—to wear or not to wear. Whether you think masks help or not with COVID-19 is not the issue here. Good etiquette says to make another person feel comfortable being around you. So, if others feel safer if I am wearing a mask, then perhaps rather than exercise “my rights”, how about thinking first of the other person. It makes the other person feel valued, that they matter, and feel safer. For example, if I am around a recovering alcoholic, I won’t drink a glass of wine because it puts a temptation in front of that person. So I may forgo the pleasure of a glass of wine to help support that particular individual. Since we don’t know their circumstances, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt – who knows, they may have a lowered immune system, or they may be caring for older parents. Yes, you may get over COVID-19 easily, but someone else may not. I understand some grocery stores are considering mandatory masks. That is their right to do so. And you then have a right to decide if you will shop there or go elsewhere. So, bottom line, we are in tough times right now. Let’s all extend kindness and consideration to our fellow Americans.