Wearing a Mask in Public

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death Debate: Wearing a Mask in Public

“Give me liberty or give me death”, powerful words originally spoken by Patrick Henry on March 23rd 1775 to inspire the Virginia Convention to send troops to fight the British. He knew that without the troops, we could not win the war and the hope for democracy would die.

Imagine yourself at the convention sitting next to General George Washington and even though you could not know that he would become the first President of the United States… he was still rock star of the day?

How would you have responded to Patrick’s call to action? 

I am sure some in the audience disagreed and they probably voted against sending troops. Maybe they had sons they did not want to put in harm’s way or maybe they just resisted change. Thankfully for all of us, the country did unite against tyranny and we won our freedom.

Gallup poll - Americans' use of face masks in public

Fast forward 245 years and although we are facing a different kind of foreign invader… we still find ourselves talking about liberty and death and not in a convention, but on social media.  

Have you taken part in the debate about wearing a mask? Hold that thought and keep reading.

This is not about whether you believe in the fact that a mask will prevent you from catching COVID-19 or spreading it to someone else, I am sure data can be found to support either argument. It is about feeling safe. Yes, I said ‘feeling’, because as we know the data is evolving rapidly and may change as we learn more. 

The real questions are does it make you feel more comfortable if I am wearing a mask and will that help expedite our return to normal?  

I know by now some of you are going to shout back at me about how masks limit the spread of the virus. I get it; however, this post is not about debating the science. 

Girl in grocery store wearing a mask

It’s about liberty and death… the death of our economy, way of life and for some the perceived loss of liberties from being forced to wear a mask in public. 

The unfortunate reality is that COVID-19, 20, 21, etc. are here to stay and we need to learn to live with them and in a way that does not include staying at home indefinitely. We also of course, and this goes without saying, need a vaccine, better treatments, and a way to protect those who are most vulnerable. 

Based on those remarks, how do you feel? Hold those thoughts for just a few more moments. 

Pew research center study about wearing masks

As a husband, father of 3, small business owner, and sports fan, I am deeply concerned about the death of our way of life and economy. I also know that being in good health, I am fortunate to be in a lower risk group. 

I acknowledge that my reality may not be the same as yours and it is why I have chosen to wear a mask at work and in public. I chose to do so long before North Carolina put a mandate in place and will continue to do so out of concern for others.

So, has my liberty been taken away? It does not feel like it, because I chose to do so to make others feel comfortable vs. spending my time waxing on about how hot they are or how I get tired of feeling myself breathe. It just seems like a small price to pay vs everyone staying at home and possible end to life as we know it.

I’ll leave you with this. Think back on those powerful words “give me liberty or give me death”. 

Now picture yourself today sitting next to George Washington(ok six feet apart and outside) and him leaning in to you to say; 

“seriously… in my day, we faced uncertain death by a force much larger than us… in a world where if you got wounded, they cut off the limb with no anesthesia or antibiotics and we faced all that so you could have liberty and freedom… and you won’t wear a mask so someone else can feel comfortable?

Are we really talking about the same liberty? 

What would you say to George?

We respect and welcome all points of view and hope you share this with friends and family and leave your comment below.

Be safe and well.