“French prosecutors have charged two men with attempted murder after a bus driver was assaulted and left brain dead for refusing to let a group of people who were not wearing face masks board the bus.”

So began a story in last Wednesday’s online edition of The Guardian. Today’s edition reports that the driver is now dead.

Inexplicably, there are people to whom the requirement – or even the request – to wear a face mask in public as an elementary but cardinal means of protecting the public health (more accurately, of protecting other people from a lethal virus you may be transmitting without knowing it) is a threat to “liberty.”

Yesterday, Wisconsin surpassed its previous record for new coronavirus cases, with 845. The previous record was set on the previous day.

Thomas Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in May that the absence of a systematic and coordinated response to the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. – an outbreak now in full-on resurgence – is “daring Mother Nature to kill you or someone you love.” Dr. Frieden then added some familiar words of wisdom: “Mother Nature bats last, and she bats a thousand.”

John Callan

Fort Atkinson

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