Guest Columnist

Masks are the conservative thing to do

Hear this message from one of your own: Act right now

(AP Photo/Butch Dill)
(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

With 350,000 Americans dead, we may be weeks away from losing 420,000, or more than all American deaths in World War II. Will you change your ways when the number becomes 5,000 per day? What if it becomes 10,000 per day?

“Freedom,” an idea I’ve long been a public friend and vocal supporter of, should be defined as: your right to live your life how you see fit, as long as that doesn’t prevent others from doing the same. Yes, this libertarian is saying: “No man is an island.”

Are individual liberties and a sense of community completely at odds? Were air-raid “blackouts” during World War II a violation of freedom, or simply a responsibility? When faced with the strong chance that your behaviors could harm others, is it still your right to act — or not act — any way you please?

Not shuttering those lights, drunken driving and not taking obvious COVID-19 precautions don’t necessarily injure or kill someone else. But ultimately, directly or indirectly, it will.

That isn’t freedom.

That’s you valuing your own temporary comfort and convenience over the lives of others. That doesn’t make you a Patriotic American, it makes you a part of the biggest threat America has faced in 100 years. That isn’t written in a hyperbolic sense, but in the “shortage of body bags” sense.

And when this virus kills or harms someone you love — or maybe even you — you’ll have wished you could take everything back. But by then, it will be too late, as it’s already too late for the 350,000 dead Americans and their families.

Embarrassingly enough, it seems this denier mentality is mostly slanted to one side politically. So hear this message from one of your own: Act right now.

This is our Nation’s biggest test, and it’s being failed, badly.

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Sean Curtin of Iowa City is an advocate for conservative views including the 2nd Amendment, civil liberties and criminal justice reform.

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