Kristi, I've been wanting to write a similar article. But you have done a better job than I could. I hope this goes places other than Medium.
In fact, I just put this article on my somewhat defunct Facebook account. First FB post in about a year for me. And you are the first Medium writer I have done this for; I haven't even done this for myself.
I see this whole facemask thing a continuum of "I don't give a shit" syndrome. It's apalling that Canadians are not wearing facemasks either------and all our politicians are telling them to do so and are showing a good example.
I spent 12 years in the Canadian oilpatch. At least once a month, I would get a bump on the noggin where I could say: "It's a good thing I was wearing a hard hat." Yet about half my work colleagues--if they had a choice--would not wear a hard hat on the job site.
We can take this failure to apply common sense safety to so many other facets of life. Most people wear seat belts because they don't want a ticket, not because it's the right thing to do. Most drinkers of alcohol don't drive while impaired because they don't want to lose their license, not because it's the right thing to do.
In "Blank Slate," Dr. Steven Pinker talks about our inability to process risk appropriately. This comes from our hunter-gatherer days, where those individuals who were better at sticking to the known ways survived to pass their risk-averse genes down. But our modern society allows us many more options, which are not usually immediate life-and-death. So we have the freedom to take chances. But we can't process the risk properly because our genes are telling us "don't do it." But when we do do it, we don't take in all the angles.
Anyways, that is Dr. Pinker's hypothesis. From what I've seen in the world, he might be right. Wearing a facemask is easier than wearing a hard hat.