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Thread: The Mask Slackers Of 1918

  1. #1
    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default The Mask Slackers Of 1918

    Christine Hauser
    August 3 2020

    As the influenza pandemic swept across the United States in 1918 and 1919, masks took a role in political and cultural wars.

    The masks were called muzzles, germ shields and dirt traps. They gave people a “pig-like snout.” Some people snipped holes in their masks to smoke cigars. Others fastened them to dogs in mockery. Bandits used them to rob banks.
    More than a century ago, as the 1918 influenza pandemic raged in the United States, masks of gauze and cheesecloth became the facial front lines in the battle against the virus. But as they have now, the masks also stoked political division. Then, as now, medical authorities urged the wearing of masks to help slow the spread of disease. And then, as now, some people resisted.

    Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/03/u...8b0e20e9725adc
    Last edited by Julieanne; 08-04-20 at 07:02 AM.

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mask Slackers Of 1918

    Very informative!! People refusing to wear a mask were arrested and sent to "mask court." Wow!! Violators were fined between $5 and $10, and some received jail time. Depending on which inflation calculator you use, a $5 fine in 1918 would be equivalent to about $95 today. That's significant!

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mask Slackers Of 1918

    And why is it that we Americans are the only ones to carry-on in this manner, to resist and exclaim that our freedoms are being abridged?
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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mask Slackers Of 1918

    It seems to be embedded in the culture. But some in Australia are starting to resist too, mostly those into a second lockdown. Disappointing.
    Last edited by Julieanne; 08-04-20 at 09:28 PM.

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mask Slackers Of 1918

    Quote Originally Posted by Islander View Post
    And why is it that we Americans are the only ones to carry-on in this manner, to resist and exclaim that our freedoms are being abridged?
    Not so sure Americans are the only ones carrying on in this manner. Sweden, Italy, and Spain had problems with mask resistance too early on. Currently, face masks resistance seems highest in countries where leaders themselves don't consistently wear them, like the U.S. & Brazil. But, from a more basic perspective, wearing a mask represents "change." And, people in general hate change. And, the face mask change came on top of a number of other drastic changes, like stay at home, and stay away from others whenever you do go out, etc. etc. I call it "change fatigue." We're creatures of habit and don't like change, especially when a lot of it is heaped upon us at one time. Also, this country's core principles revolve around the ideals of individual freedom, "free will," and "self-determination." So, Americans react badly when they "feel" their personal freedoms are being interfered with. "Trust" also is a factor. Citizens who trust their governments tend to be more willing to sacrafice personal freedoms for the good of society. A recent survey showed that 80% of Chinese and 67% of South Koreans generally trust their central governments to care for their health, compared to only 44% of Americans. High societal trust in government generally inspires citizens to do things, like wear masks. Also, Americans received mixed, inconsistent messaging from their government on wearing face masks. On Feb. 29, the U.S. Surgeon General emphatically told Americans to NOT wear masks. Then, 5 weeks later on April 3, the U.S. government reversed itself and began to urge Americans to wear masks, without providing solid evidence for the change. This made government look bad and confused, resulting in the public's distrust of the way the pandemic was being handled. I firmly support wearing a mask, but I can understand why some Americans are confused--leaving aside all the dumb political bullcrap.

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    Veteran Member Maurya's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mask Slackers Of 1918

    What Mr Wizard said. As well, there is a certain attitude and mind set among some people which says "it can't happen to me, I'm so special, it might happen to other people but not to me". I don't understand this, but there you have it.

    Here is what took place in a small group of islands: The governor said to wear a face covering and to stay six feet away from anyone not in your own household. The local people have done just that, although this is quite a huggy, touchy, feely culture. We did it and our cases of Covid stayed in the single digits for a few months. Then the powers that be decided that the tourists, the refinery workers, and the hurricane relief workers would be permitted to start coming back to our islands. Now the numbers of Covid cases have skyrocketed, and we have cases of illness similar to that in the US. Sad. This could have been averted.

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mask Slackers Of 1918

    Maurya, I wish you would copy that last paragraph to our group conversation on Facebook. A couple of people in that group, otherwise well educated and well-informed, refused to mask, claiming that there is no evidence to prove that it helps. I think only one is an American, FWIW. I was prepared to butt in with the example of what happened in Italy, but your personal experience would be much more persuasive, I think. (Italy went from 6000/week to 200/week after "buttoning up" etc.).

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