Kaia, your point about the lack of trust in our institutions is a really good one, and it's something that did weigh on my mind as I wrote this piece. In fact, I'm really frustrated with how the WHO and CDC have behaved at different points throughout this pandemic, and I think they deserve a fair amount of criticism. Same goes for a number of politicians from both parties as well.
So yeah, I can definitely relate to the lack of trust. But I think that when it comes to the masks in particular, it's a bit of a different story, especially now that we've got real data suggesting that they could be a genuinely helpful tool for reducing transmission rates. And I would never blame someone for not taking a politician's word on this issue, I do feel that when the countries that have had the most success are out there telling the world that wearing masks can only help, we really ought to just go ahead and heed their advice, especially since, as you pointed out, wearing a mask is really no big deal, you know?
Thank you for reading and commenting! I very much appreciate it!