My friend Dr. Barbara Golder offers some sane advice here, via Catholic News Agency:
Although some people have raised objections to wearing masks as the U.S. continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, doing so can be an act of charity for one’s neighbor, a Catholic doctor said.
“The simple reason [to wear a mask] is primarily to protect others, the secondary reason is to protect oneself. Masks are a barrier to the airborne droplets that can carry the virus and infect anyone who breathes them in,” said Dr. Barbara Golder, a physician, lawyer and bioethicist with a background in pathology.
Golder told CNA that wearing a mask while in public is “a small thing to do, and it may well save lives….This is a serious situation…When 60% of the population falls into a risk group because of age or an underlying medical condition such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or lung disease, it’s prudent to try to avoid infection.”
Golder acknowledged that conflicting advice early in the pandemic may be confusing, but explained that federal guidance has changed as scientists have learned more about the new virus and how it is spread.
“We now know that it is communicable by aerosol droplets that are expelled by coughing, sneezing, and even, to a certain extent, by breathing,” she said. “We also know that this happens even in patients who are infected and shedding virus but who do not have symptoms…Wearing a mask limits the possibility of dispersing infective particles in the air, as well as reducing the risk of inhaling them,” she said.
…Leah Libresco Sargeant, author of “Building the Benedict Option,” echoed the idea that wearing a mask is a way of showing love for one’s neighbors.
“It’s much more a question of care than of fear,” she told CNA.
While masks may be somewhat uncomfortable, they are a small inconvenience that can be embraced out of charity for others, Sargeant suggested.
“Mask wearing is a small, humdrum discipline. It’s harder to romanticize than a big gesture,” she said.
“Think about the difference between going on a big pilgrimage and keeping up a habit of daily prayer, including in times of spiritual dryness. We have to do it out of love—there’s no other way to sustain the dull parts of caring for others.”
Read it all. And wear a mask.