A leading scientist declared this week that peoples’ refusal to wear a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic should be regarded as being as unacceptable as drunk driving or not wearing a seatbelt in a car. Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the UK’s Royal Society, made the pronouncement on Tuesday, lamenting the fact that “the public have taken to handwashing and distancing but remain skeptical about face coverings.”
This comes as the same displeasure is being expressed more and more here in the US by people aghast at anti-face mask advocates. Even actor Tom Hanks, who’s been making the press rounds in recent days to promote his new movie Greyhound coming to Apple TV this weekend, detoured a bit in his promotional efforts to scold people who refuse to take simple coronavirus prevention steps like mask-wearing. Along those lines, states and local governments across the US haven’t exactly been uniform in terms of who requires face masks in public settings and who doesn’t — but that’s a posture that the private sector, however, has been much more aggressive in mandating.
Indeed, shoppers around the US have no doubt started to get used to the ubiquity of signs that now instruct everyone to wear a mask inside, particularly in heavily-trafficked businesses like groceries and department stores.