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Facemasks, virtue signaling and claiming the moral high ground

Dozens of articles have been written pro and con relative to the wearing of facemasks. This is not one of those articles. People may be able to arrive at a conclusion they are comfortable with by researching the topic online. This article is to inform you of another phenomenon that has emerged that may interest concerned citizens of a democratic society.

I want to introduce two terms to you that were new to me and seem relevant now in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. They are “virtue signaling” and “claiming the moral high ground.” But first, just let me mention a couple of points regarding the wearing of facemasks.

Dr. Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon, wrote in a May 14, 2020, this article on pjmedia that, “Masks pose serious risks to the healthy.” First of all, he says there is no scientific evidence that facemasks are effective against viruses.

An article by the Mayo Clinic states that, “Surgical masks may protect others by reducing exposure to the saliva and respiratory secretions of the mask wearer.” Notice the word “may.”

The American surgeon general, Jerome Adams, had advised against facemasks in February but in April had asked the CDC for further guidance on the subject, according to an April 2, 2020, CNBC article. At that time, the World Health Organization (WHO) had said healthy people only needed to wear a mask if they “were taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.” Lo and behold, they still have that posted on their website.

READ: Here’s the NYT editorial by Sen. Tom Cotton the paper has now apologized for running and now called fascist


As of April 3, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) “recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.” This is all most people need to know. Others still question the advice of the WHO, the CDC or any other source, for that matter, perhaps even some of you reading this now.

Virtue signaling

Now, the terms “virtue signaling” and “claim the moral high ground” have come up on social media with regard to judging those who do not wear facemasks as “heartless,” “uncaring”, “unloving” and “think they have the right to kill people”. In other words people have been commenting a lot on social media about how the people who are questioning the wisdom of wearing facemasks in other than a surgical/medical environment are somehow morally inferior. I looked up the term “virtue signaling” after seeing a post declaring that face masks were “100 percent virtue signaling.” This is what it means:

“Virtue signaling is the popular modern habit of indicating that one as virtue merely by expressing disgust or favor for certain political ideas or cultural happenings. Feeling morally superior.  E.g., Claim the moral high ground.”

Claim the moral high ground

“Claim the moral high ground” means “To claim, purport, or make it appear that one’s arguments, beliefs, ideas, etc., are morally superior to those espoused by others.”

An example is, “The senator always tries to claim the moral high ground during a debate so as to shift public opinion in his favor.”

During the Coronavirus pandemic, churches are divided about whether or not to go to church (“We don’t want to infect others”). Emotions are strong because of the upcoming election. Unemployment is sky high and the economy has been tanking because of shutdowns.

In light of all of the above, I wanted to conclude with something written by a woman from the Ukraine, now living in Nashville, and posted on Facebook. I have obtained permission from her to include this. I have left it unedited so you can appreciate the heart of this woman and the passion she has for our American system which has always been free but seems threatened at this time:

Yes or no.
That is the question!

During the days of the Soviet Union, the government called those who questioned or disagreed with their agenda “enemy of people” and killed those or sent to prison. The same idea evil using now by calling folks who are not wearing a mask as “dangerous elements.”

I was the one who first had a mask on. I was scolded big time by those who are scolding me now for not wearing a mask. Their argument back then and now is the almost the same:
Before: “CDC is not recommending.”
Now: “CDC recommending.”

So I should to live without prayers, without making my own conclusions based on simple observation, knowledge that I obtained from different sources? CDC or WHO is NOT my GOD.

I was wearing a mask before. I made a video how to make your own mask. I was sewing them and giving them away.

Now I am not wearing one and strongly against it. Why?

I can use data and listen to opinions of different scientists and make my own conclusions after asking the Lord for guidance.

At the same time, I am not idolizing science. Because scientist discredit themselves so many times. Because scientists are people. People makes mistakes. People are making big mistakes when they are walking away from the Lord and HIS commends and HIS instructions.

I am thankful to the Lord for opening my eyes and my heart to current situation.

Common question: am I using a seatbelt? Yes. Now. But! back when I was a child in Ukraine folks were not wearing seat belts. Situations changed. We should learn to adjust to current situations. Not to blindly do what somebody said, who does not really care about our health, but only for their positions.

I refused to do chemotherapy. According to doctors I shouldn’t be alive now. Who knows if I would survive if I did chemotherapy?

Doctors killed my brother. Vaccine killed a child in my extended family. I learned not to trust government at all a long time ago.

I serve only one true God!

–Carolyn Cogswell

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