The controversy around the use of Face Mask amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Self-Centered and Irresponsible attitude in the name of Individual Liberty!

Originally published by Illumination Curated on Medium

Photo by Zach Vessels on Unsplash

Liberty is one of the most common buzzwords in the world. It is the prominent grandiose slogans of the politicians and citizens alike. But, despite its ongoing use yet not many still genuinely understand the meaning of liberty.

Liberty has been adopted in history under a multitude of contexts, as everyone sees freedom differently. The irony of all said is not necessarily how everyone regards liberty, notwithstanding that many people tend to overlook that individual freedom is not void of responsibility towards fellow citizens and accountability to their actions. Indeed, we hear more and more everyday controversies around the Face facemask use mandate that has filled the vacuum space of the news media. The argument has taken a public health issue out of its legitimate context and dumped it into the wastebasket of the politicians. The right-wing is against the facemask mandate simply because they reject the idea of being told what to do, as the left-wing are for mandating facemask merely based on the dogma in the rule of collective power.

Wearing face masks reduced the chance of COVID-19 virus transmission. It protects the person who wears it and prevents the spread of the virus transmission to others. Nonetheless, the use of facemasks is profoundly equated to social and cultural practices and has acquired a variety of personal and social meanings. Individual perceptions of infection risk, unique interpretations of responsibility, cultural traditions, faith, and the need to express self-identity play a significant role in using facemasks, thus expectedly reflects on their political views.

Irrespective of the political discourse, people refuse to wear a facemask for many reasons, with the plenitude of rationing behind not wearing a facemask. Furthermore, the success or response to mandate or no mandate on public use of a facemask will only depend on autonomy’s perception, education, and acumen. Within the same framework, political arguments will only further undermine the populace’s distrust and resistance.

Today we are witnessing the mockery of liberty handling the “facemask politics.”

The majority of politicians who reject the idea of the facemask mandate may not have grasped the genuine concept of liberty merely because they uphold the double standard stance on individual liberty. For instance, those who fight for no mandate on facemask would never contemplate eliminating the income tax. Besides, individual liberty is thereby upholding the “Golden Rule.” Those who refuse to wear a facemask are in utter breach of the Golden Rule oath simply by increasing the chance of transmitting the virus to others.

But is mandating facemask use the correct answer?

For the individuals who are tribal or live under collective conviction, the mandate may be the correct answer, but the same people should never assume that they embrace liberty.

Liberty comes with responsibility and respecting the liberty of others. Meaning treating others as one wants to be treated. Once translated into the facemask scenario, do not pass the COVID-19 virus to others as you do not expect them to pass it on to you. And if you feel you are immune against the viral infection, you must probably educate yourself further.

Liberty comes with Responsibility

Liberty Is Meaningless without Responsibility.
Is it an anarcho-capitalist paradise where individuals are free to exploit the way they fancy not being told what to do?
But, is it a peaceful society being one hundred percent free and not be responsible for anything?

A free society is impracticable without a healthy share of responsibility, as we must feel responsible towards others without triggering the politician’s rhetoric on additional anti-liberty mandates. The Absence of responsibility invites chaos and uncertainty, just as if we refuse to wear a facemask and infect others. Liberty and responsibility are inseparable. True, responsibility is the loss of flexibility and free-flowing status. However, those who genuinely want liberty also crave the self-responsibility entailed. Likewise, responsibility is a personal choice and leads to Learning and Meaning. It allows humans to thrive in terms of comparative advantage by letting people acuminate their skills and unique abilities to utilize these skills in a particular environment.

“A free society will not function or maintain itself unless its members regard it as a right that each individual occupy the position that results from their action and accepts it as due to their own action. Though it can offer the individual only chances and though the outcome of his efforts will depend on innumerable accidents, it forcefully directs his attention to those circumstances that he can control as if they were the only ones that mattered.”- F.A. Hayek

Liberty comes with Accountability

Imagine living in a free society where there is no accountability?
Imagine a scenario where mandates no facemask to its citizens, yet they do not follow the “Golden Rule”? Indeed, that society will be lawless and chaotic.

Thus, the principle of accountability opens the system for the people to protect their own liberty. It serves this goal by allowing the people to curb abuse of power and oversee a political structure that includes a judicial branch empowered to protect individual rights. Such an understanding of accountability provides a different model of constitutionalism. It places the elected and unelected branches not in opposing positions of legitimacy or deviance but in situations of interdependence, the yin, and yang of our constitutional composition. That means it utilizes the notion of “dualism,” outlining how opposing forces may become complementary to each other, interconnected, and interdependent.

True Liberty would ratify resistance to wear Face Masks in crowded public

Wearing a face mask is an individual choice but to the same extent serves as the epitome of what true liberty outlines. On the same scale, politicians’ involvement and politicization of good practice further alienate us from liberty. Imposing mandates will flunk by further dividing the people into factions.

As much as forcing individuals and mandating actions like facemask is against our prerogative, to the same compass, not wearing is against the “Golden Rule.” Not wearing the mask is personally irresponsible, just as not passing laws that make citizens accountable for directly (and deliberately) infecting others with COVID-19.