The Discarded Mask: Two Perspectives

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The Discarded Mask: Two Perspectives

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Found on the sidewalk along west Wichita, Kansas's 13th Street, this discarded mask reflects two dueling realities that have come to define the larger COVID-19 experience. First, such a sight is now rather commonplace across many communities, thereby revealing that masks have become such an important mitigation measure and common clothing accessory in both the US and the world that they are found in use and disuse as easily as a soda can or food wrapper. It is also emblematic of the contrary attitudes still held by many people, especially in more conservative regions of the United States, with a still significant portion of the population who, in the face of surging cases and fatalities, continue to challenge the need for masks and distancing by carrying on as if COVID-19 were a relic of the past.

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This item was submitted on July 7, 2020 by Aaron Peterka using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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