Rights and habits not the same thing

It seems to me that anti-maskers are confusing “rights” with old habits

letters

Rights and habits not the same thing

It seems to me that anti-maskers are confusing “rights” with old habits, social norms and privilege.

When I was young, it was people’s ‘habit’ to drive without a seatbelt, to get drunk and get behind the wheel and to burn plastic garbage in the backyard.

Social ‘norms’ included racist jokes, smoking in restaurants and testing nuclear weapons in the atmosphere.

It was a white man’s ‘privilege’ to deny renting a room to people of colour, gay couples or those of a different faith.

Thankfully, safer, more mindful conventions have replaced those more dangerous, mean-spirited ones, but it would be foolish to argue that ‘rights’ have been stolen.

Truth is, habits, norms and privileges do not constitute a ‘right’, and during a pandemic — when your breath might mean death to the person beside you — the practice of entering public spaces unmasked should be suspended.

It’s simply a matter of respect.

Mike Ward

Duncan

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