From the Kennebec Journal, Oct. 13, in an article entitled, “Video: Anti-mask group gathers outside CDC offices in downtown Augusta”: “Saying she was mad, Geraghty lamented mask-wearing as a new normal that she felt was teaching children to fear and part of a larger ‘social engineering agenda.’ … ‘We have a right to choose,’ Geraghty said.”

I wonder if Ms. Geraghty also believes she has a “right to choose” which side of the road she drives on, and which red lights she has to stop for. Maybe she thinks she has a “right to choose” to take target practice on Main Street, or in the grocery store.

Because those are analogous to the “right” she’s demanding during a pandemic. She wants the right to choose to make other people sick, and possibly to kill them, so that she doesn’t have to put up with the relatively minor inconvenience of wearing a mask. After all, it’s not like she’s being asked to do something really hard, like breathing on a ventilator, or being ill for weeks on end, or losing a loved one.

Or dying. Which is what she wants other people to risk so she that doesn’t have to wear a mask.

The things we do to keep ourselves and each other safe in our shared public spaces are mostly so habitual as to be almost invisible. Masks are new addition to that list, both minor and temporary. And studies find them paying off handsomely in cutting the transmission of COVID-19.

Maybe instead of teaching her children that masks are about fear, Ms. Geraghty could teach them that masks are about generosity: They are about taking care of each other until we have the means to end the spread of COVID-19 once and for all.


Janie Matrisciano


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