Teamwork became a motif of the pandemic’s early days. Locked up in their homes this past spring, smart Americans sewed on masks, neighbors planted billboards to support health workers, and politicians spoke in lofty language about collaborating to ‘flatten the curve’.
Then came a biased division over masks, screaming crowds outside state capitalsdeath threats against local and state health officials. On the other side of the debate, some people who support Covid-19 restrictions have accepted the task of mask policing.
It quickly became apparent that even in a crisis, Americans were struggling to come together.
It is therefore no surprise that the latest code of honor – the federal government’s leadership that graftly encourages Americans to take off their masks – has been greeted with skepticism in parts of the country that have not yet done so.
“It is currently a very complicated symphony,” said dr. Howard Markel, a medical historian at the University of Michigan, said an expert on pandemics. “There was such an erosion of trust – distrust of the government, distrust of the virus, distrust of this party or that party. So when you tell the public what to do, there are people who say, ‘How can I trust the man without the mask?’