July 4, 2020

When the restrictions on getting out were eased in May my sister sent Melissa and I four home manufactured masks for use in public.  I am calling these manufactured rather than made because she has produced over 470 masks to date and counting.  She has sent the masks to family and friends.  When being outside became more prevalent we received another shipment of 6 masks.  This lets us use a mask, drop it in the laundry, and still have another mask available if I venture out the next day.  This has been invaluable for Melissa as she goes into work Monday through Friday and is required by her company to be masked.

I came across a column by Curtis Ramsey-Lucas, editor of the conservative Christian Citizen magazine dated July 2, 2020. The article addressed the issue of wearing masks, but the comments were far reaching. Corona virus cases in America have risen 80% in the last two weeks, while dropping dramatically in other wealthy democracies. While the United States had 40,000 new cases on Monday the European Union had less than 6000, despite having a larger population. America also has twice as many confirmed deaths at nearly 130,000 than any other country. The difference appears to be our unwillingness to wear masks.

Ramsey-Lucas said this “aversion to sensible, modest, action by individuals to benefit themselves and others is rooted, in part, in a desiccated conservatism that no longer has a frame of reference larger than the individual. This way of thinking is, to a very real extent, no longer conservatism, but an extreme form of liberalism in which the unfettered individual is the end all and be all of life.”  Ironically, this same claim was made by conservatives after World War II concerning liberal factions.  “Rather than defending a traditional concept of community and common welfare in which individuals understand the connection between rights and duties, many who claim the conservative mantle substitute a doctrinaire individualism that ultimately benefits neither the individual nor society.”

THOUGHTS:  While this article ties the use of masks to rising case numbers, it sheds light on a larger issue, our staunch individualism that places our wants and needs above others.  Ramsey-Lucas’ article quoted several people known to be founding leaders of the conservative movement, and even quoted Paul writing to the church in Philippi, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4).  Masks have never been about protecting you, they are about your willingness to protect your neighbor.  If you can, work to keep the conversation going.

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