The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Why is it so hard for some people to wear masks?

Lori Wagoner, 63, has strictly enforced the mask-wearing policy at the Inland Waterway Provision Company, the store where she works in Oriental, N.C.
Lori Wagoner, 63, has strictly enforced the mask-wearing policy at the Inland Waterway Provision Company, the store where she works in Oriental, N.C. (Eamon Queeney/For The Washington Post)
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My blood pressure skyrocketed as I read what Lori Wagoner was enduring at her work in a general store, as told to Eli Saslow in the July 19 Voices from the Pandemic article “ ‘No mask, no entry. Is that clear enough?’ ” [front page].

Why is it suddenly open season on store clerks? Do these people really think they have won an argument when they terrorize a 63-year-old woman at work? Is there some award ceremony playing in their heads when they shove past people so they can buy whatever little thing they need at the moment? Or is it some demented form of entitlement that makes them think trampling over another person is okay as long as they get their candy bars, sodas and charcoal? 

Janet Kinzer, Silver Spring

Regarding the July 16 front-page article “More states and businesses make masks mandatory”:

I remain baffled by those who equate “freedom” or patriotism with refusing to wear a mask. Having grown up during World War II, I remember well the sacrifices we at home were asked to make to protect ourselves and our neighbors. Among them were severe rationing of food, gasoline and other day-to-day essentials. We were also asked to spend hours in blackouts in our homes. At school, we hid under our desks during the frequent air-raid drills. We, as a nation, willingly put up with these restrictions. We did this to ensure our “freedom.” At that time, the enemy was thousands of miles away, not, as today, in our restaurants, grocery stores and gyms. We were fortunate in having a president who evoked our patriotism and rallied us to go beyond our selfish needs for the greater good of our country.

What a tragedy that, at this crucial time, we are led by a man and his enablers who seem willing to sacrifice lives for political reasons by not mandating masks.

Arthur J. Levine, Bethesda

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