Wu Yueh-hua is an associate professor at National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism’s applied Japanese department. He has some words of advice for Westerners in America, Canada, Australia, Britain, Germany, Italy and other parts of Europe: wear Covid-19 virus masks to protect yourself and others around you.
While US president-elect Joe Biden has pledged to push for scientific measures against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, hoping that all Americans and Europeans will develop a habit of wearing masks in public, news reports from Canada, Germany and Australia, among other nations, indicate that there is a huge backlash among some Westerners to wearing masks in public.
“Some of state governors in America have emphasized that whether to wear a mask is a matter of personal freedom and cannot be a legal obligation, Profesesor Wu says. “As some Americans stretch the understanding of ‘freedom’ infinitely, no wonder the pandemic situation in the USA continues to worsen. As Asians in Taiwan and Japan, it might be difficult for us to comprehend the thoughts of some Europeans and Americans
In a globalized world, perhaps Europeans and Americans can take a look at the preventive measures Asian countries have taken, he says, not to point a finger or to criticize but to shine a light on an important public health issue worldwide. Perhaps Asians have something to teach Westerners, he says.
“Even though the experiments that have been conducted in a confined space of a laboratory and the protection that mask grant might not be as high as the numbers suggest, wearing a mask effectively slows the spread of COVID-19,” he says. “Still, people must not solely rely on masks, as they do not provide full protection.”
“Westerners in North America and Europe can access information freely and easily, so one would hope that when some people sing the praises of personal freedom, they can also learn how to approach COVID-19 and their compatriots with empathy,” Wu concludes.