Why Won’t White People Wear Masks?

Y’all unhygienic



After lockdown, I went to the supermarket for the first time in two months. Everyone was wearing masks… except for a few white people. This is Sri Lanka, we don’t even have many white people. But there they were, lips and noses out. People were glaring enough to disinfect their faces with rage, but they didn’t notice. They just didn’t care.

WTF is wrong with white people?

White people?

From YouGov. Note the outlier. That’s white.

Yes, white people.

Just look at this graph of masking in Asia-Pacific. Everyone is wearing masks… except for Australia. Who lives in Australia? White people.

This is global. The latest white privilege is poor public hygiene. Mask-wearing in majority-white nations is significantly lower than anywhere else, and white migrant workers (‘expats’) and tourists export this abroad.

The lack of western civilization

Let’s have a closer look at masking rates.

As you can see, it’s not that white people can’t wear masks. They’ll do it, just literally over their dead bodies.

Italy, Spain, and France began masking as 100,000 people died. The point, however, is to figure it out before people die. Because, you know, it’s a preventative measure.

The UK and Sweden still haven’t figured it out, but surprisingly the US is almost there. They're up there with the successful western nations (and global disasters) of Germany and Canada.

So why doesn’t halfway masking work?

The trouble is that close isn’t good enough. Masking is the closest we’ve got to herd immunity, and that only works if enough of the herd is doing it. If you’re below 85% masking (ie, near-universal) then there are still too many pockets where COVID-19 can spread. Worse, if masking is politicized, then those pockets are huge — there can be whole…




Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at www.indi.ca, or just email me at indi@indi.ca.