Elemental
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Elemental

Masks, Protection, and Our National Character

Public health is inherently unselfish; why aren’t we?

A man wearing a cutout mask gathered with hundreds of others at a “Hazardous Liberty! Defend the Constitution!” rally to protest the stay-at-home order on April 19, 2020, in Olympia, Washington. Photo: Karen Ducey/Stringer/Getty Images

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidance around mask-wearing to say that masks protect the wearer as well as others around them, presumably to encourage mask-wearing. This is notable for what it says about our national character.

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