Freedom without responsibility is anarchy. Some Americans think that being required to wear a mask in public is a violation of their freedom. They believe they have the right to do whatever they want, and whenever and no one can tell them otherwise. According to this simplistic view, a person could kill someone in cold blood, and law enforcement would be helpless to do anything about it. Forty years ago, I was a legislator in Illinois and voted to require mandatory seat belts in automobiles. Seat belts save lives. The evidence is overwhelming that wearing a mask does too. “Your liberty to swing your fist ends just where my nose begins.”[i] Freedom has limits. It boils down to a matter of common sense. If not wearing a mask in public endangers not only your own life but the lives of others, your right to not wear a mask ends when you open the front door. It is common sense to wear a mask.
[i] John B. Finch (1882)