Today after 2,200 cases in the county and 41 deaths, City Council has finally decided that rather than mandate face masks and upset half the population, they should do more to educate the public (meaning anti-maskers) about the importance of face masks. While that does not address the chasm of division between those who wear masks and those who refuse, it is probably the best we can currently hope for to stem the rise of infections and deaths.
But is education really possible? While we watch the so-called epicenter of coronavirus cases move from city to city and state to state, the true epicenter is really social media platforms.
Every fact published on Facebook by those who believe the scientific conclusions is immediately challenged by those who insist on promoting disproven and pseudo-scientific theories. This is like the Middle Ages dispute between those who agreed with the scientific position that earth revolves around the sun and those who believed the sun revolved around the earth. It took centuries to end that dispute.
Likewise, no amount of public service advertising will change the minds of those who disagree that a simple face mask will help prevent the virus, or that a malaria drug will cure it.
But having said that, if a public service campaign is all we can get right now, we should do it. For those who insist Hydroxychloroquine is the cure, the federal government has stockpiled 63 million doses so it shouldn’t be too difficult to grab a few.