In the June 20 front-page article “Mask schism: ‘Submission muzzle’ or civic duty?,” Floridian Max Parsell justified his choice forgoing a mask because “making individual decisions is the American way.”

The novel coronavirus isn’t going to sidestep your immune system just because you have civil liberties.

We are selfishly ignoring the chance to save lives over a minor inconvenience. People who claim they “can’t breathe” while wearing a mask forget that they may spread germs to tens of people who won’t be able to breathe once infected with this respiratory virus. We tout our civil liberties granted to us by the Constitution, yet what is the basis for these liberties if we won’t even use them to save lives? How are we supposed to be the world’s standard for a good quality of life when we adamantly refuse an option that could save life? An option that thousands of people around the world don’t have.

We must step up as world leader in this time of crisis and dissociate the “American way” from freedom through selfishness.

It’s time for the United States to acknowledge this pandemic as a global issue. We can no longer ignore the virus’s reach and effects. We must use our American liberties to save lives and set an example for other countries to follow. Otherwise, we will all have death on our hands.

Myranda Campanella, Glen Burnie

Well, someone finally said it. In his June 25 Sports column, “If our country has no sports, there’s no one else to blame,” Thomas Boswell fairly assessed the difference between Europe, population not much greater than ours, and the United States. In Europe, mask-wearing and acting like a team are the norm. In this country, we are so focused on being individuals and being stars of our own show that we put others in the “we don’t care about you” category. This starts at the top.

Do you not think that if the person who is the titular head of this country put on a mask and asked us to follow, we might be in a better place now? Heaven help us if this were a war with arms and not a war with a virus.

Elizabeth S. ThomasSilver Spring