The Atlantic editor Rachel Gutman acknowledged in an essay Sunday that mask mandates seem “arbitrary, inconsistent, absurd.”
Gutman, writing under the headline “Mask Mandates Are Illogical. So What?,” noted the incoherence of policies like those in Washington, D.C., where masks are required in schools and libraries, but concerts, sports events and religious services are “facial free-for-alls.”
- But she argued mask mandates are less about logic than about signaling danger and making people feel safe: “A mask mandate may not magically swaddle the faces of everyone in its jurisdiction, but it could remind already enthusiastic maskers to avoid large gatherings, or lead non-maskers to give the people around them a little more space,” she wrote.
- According to Gutman, “no mandate is ever going to be perfectly consistent, and that’s okay. Mask policies can still make sense, so long as they serve a community’s shared goals.”