In Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway, according to a YouGov poll, less than 10 percent of people in these Northern European countries wear masks.
Wearing a mask is not “natural” human nature. A study by the University of Bamberg in Germany concluded that mask wearing acceptance in Europe is low and that many people “just feel strange when wearing masks.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of Europe’s most recognized leaders and a former scientist by training, does not wear a mask in public. Nor does President Trump.
Vanity has role here as well. According to research from Middlesex University in London and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkley, CA, men, more so than women, feel wearing a mask is “shameful” and “a sign of weakness and a stigma.”
As reported frequently in the Trends Journal, as the coronavirus spread west out of China and across Europe to the U.S., the WHO and CDC made clear statements that face masks, particularly the home-made cloth ones many “fashionably” wear, are ineffective at stopping the spread of COVID-19.
On 29 February, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted, “Seriously people – STOP BUYING MASKS.”
Masked Up
In the U.S., a CDC survey taken from 5 to 12 May reveals that just over 60 percent of those responding said they always wear a mask in public, about 14 percent often wear one, and 17 percent rarely or never wear a mask when out in public.
On occasion, as evidenced in videos gone viral, resistance to orders of mandatory mask wearing have escalated into physical altercations.
Several lawsuits have been filed against government orders to wear masks. Among them is a suit involving Steven Hotze, a Houston doctor, who sued a county judge for ordering residents over 10 years of age to wear a mask.
“The rights we enjoy under the Texas Constitution are being trampled on by Judge Hidalgo, while millions of individuals have lost their jobs and thousands of businesses are on the brink of bankruptcy,” read part of the complaint.
Losing Battle
According to Polly Price, Professor of Global Health and Professor of Law at Emory Law School, legal precedent is on the side of government authority. She pointed to the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak when some cities issued fines against people violating local mandatory mask wearing orders: “There were very few court challenges, but they generally upheld the authority of local governments to have face mask ordinances.”
Professor Price added, “We do have a long tradition of individual rights, so even during the Spanish flu people would sue about the schools [being] closed. Or restaurants and bars were closed and people would sue about that and they routinely lost.”
TRENDPOST: As the summer heats up and it becomes more difficult to breathe with a mask covering one’s mouth and nose, the fight, both physically and politically, between the masked and mask-less will escalate.
And, especially among young people wanting to have a good time and be free, mask wearing will be viewed as a condition that separates the men from the boys.

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