“Give me liberty or give me death” was a great slogan for rallying partisans to charge British muskets in 1776. It’s a terrible public health philosophy in the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. State governors encouraging or ordering you to wear a mask are not liberty-thieving tyrants—they have your life and the public interest in hand and lawful powers to enforce their orders.

The public health expert consensus is that wearing a mask in public is a key countermeasure in combating the coronavirus pandemic because it helps slow the infection rate. Even cloth face masks can help curb community spread of coronavirus, in part by reducing transmission by people who are infected but experience no symptoms.