Experts, If You Want People to Wear Masks, Mandate Them

If seatbelts weren’t mandatory, would you always wear one? Sure, maybe you would, but how about Dazza? You know, that guy who owns two pet snakes, lives behind the servo, and has the words “You Only Live Once” tattooed just below his rat’s tail? Do you reckon that he would always wear his seatbelt if he had to?

As per New Hampshire Public Radio, the US state of New Hampshire doesn’t have seatbelt laws for adults. This means that fewer individuals wear a seatbelt in this state than in any other place in America. The US national average is 90%. However, in New Hampshire, it’s a measly 70%. This is the case despite the fact that wearing a seatbelt is an easy way of saving one’s life.

But why am I talking about seatbelt laws? Well, because sometimes the only way to create a safer, more reasonable culture is by putting some mandates in place. Which brings us to the topic at hand.

Encouraging Masks Means Basically Nothing

On July 19, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, dropped a statement about the concerning amount of BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron cases in the country. In this piece, he wrote, “These variants are highly infectious and have an ability to evade the immune protection from either previous infection or vaccine.” Kelly later stated that he was encouraging folks to wear masks while inside of indoor environments. Note, he didn’t strongly encourage us or vehemently encourage us to do so, not that would have made much of a difference.

But if Kelly really wanted masks to make a comeback, then he would call on Anthony Albanese to make them mandatory. Kelly’s a smart cookie, he’s got to know the correct stats. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 98% of Aussies wore a mask in a one-week period during February 2022. However, in April 2022, after some states had relaxed their mask mandates, this number dropped to a startling 78%.

The aforementioned statistics demonstrate that mask mandates help. They’re just not as effective as strongly worded statements published online. If you want people to wear seatbelts, you make seatbelt laws. If you want people to wear masks, you make mandates.

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.