• Bitter Crank
    8.7k
    When I enter any kind of store I wear a face mask of some sort (paper, fabric, or one made with an activated charcoal filter and valve). The scientific consensus seems to be that unless one is wearing an N95 mask, and wearing it properly, one is probably not limiting the distribution of corona virus much. No one claims that it does any harm, either. It's probably a wash.

    However, the mask "signals virtue"; it says "this person is responsible, and cares about the health of others." I am responsible, and I do care about the health of the community. The mask declares that loudly and clearly. People who do not wear masks inside are signaling their incompetence: they can't figure out where to get a mask, make a mask, or remember their mask. Or they are signaling their disbelief in public health measures, disbelief I consider a bad thing.

    (Some people wear a mask while outside as well. Super virtuous or just carried away?)

    Are you wearing a mask inside, and why?
  • Pfhorrest
    1.9k
    Are you wearing a mask inside, and why?Bitter Crank

    Because they won't let me in if I'm not / will hassle me and throw me out if I don't.

    (Seen people thrown out for not doing it right in front of me).
  • Judaka
    486
    I don't think people are wearing face masks for show, I know the CDC in Australia has recommended the use of face masks, what makes you think they are ineffective? I think virtue signalling is a kind of "one-upmanship", it's edgy and in your face. People trying to reduce the spread of corvid-19 or reduce their own risk of getting it. Wearing a mask and washing their hands and without even saying anything about it. I find your conclusion to be strange. That being said I don't wear a mask and it's because idgaf.
  • Pfhorrest
    1.9k
    corvid-19Judaka

    Is that that new pandemic spreading between ravens and crows and some jays and the like?
  • csalisbury
    2.3k
    I wear one (usually only inside) for a few reasons
    (1) as @Pfhorrest says, it avoids hassle.
    (2) it's an easy nod, or recognition that we're all in this together. I do feel that way and this is a convenient symbol.
    (3) maybe it works? Doesn't hurt anyway.
    (4) I bought a cool mask from a Thai Place (had them in a box when i picked up takeout) and I like the way it looks.
  • NOS4A2
    3.2k
    According to the WHO, if you do not have symptoms you do not need to wear a mask.



    According to the WHO, masks can give you a false sense of protection and can even be a source of infection. Healthy people should only wear a mask when taking care of someone with covid-19.



    The potential risks of masks are as follows.

    - self-contamination that can occur by touching and reusing contaminated mask
    • depending on type of mask used, potential breathing difficulties
    • false sense of security, leading to potentially less adherence to other preventive measures such as physical distancing and hand hygiene
    • diversion of mask supplies and consequent shortage of mask for health care workers
    • diversion of resources from effective public health measures, such as hand hygiene

    But it seems obvious to me that a mask would block droplets to some degree, and might be useful for those who tend to spit when they talk.

    That being said, if wearing a mask becomes an issue of conformity and virtue signalling, I will not be wearing one.
  • Judaka
    486

    it's a combination of coronavirus and covid-19 because I want to be inclusive towards all terms. I'm pretty much the most inclusive awesomeist person out there.
  • csalisbury
    2.3k
    That being said, if wearing a mask becomes an issue of conformity and virtue signaling, I will not be wearing one.NOS4A2

    That's a good counter-signal, right there. See if people are signalling something, so you can react by counter-signalling. Nothing like defining yourself by countersignalling signals. Some would think that this way-of-living suggests a resentment that has metastasized - why would anyone base their choices around reactions to others' choices otherwise? defining themselves in terms of the people they hate, even as a negative outline?

    But who knows, really?

    Maybe you just know that when you walk into a convenience store without a mask, people will know you're the real deal, no limp-noodle liberal. 'That's a cool guy,' people with sunglasses on motorcycles will say, 'That's not someone who has tragically come to define himself entirely in reaction to the people he professes to hate, so that nothing of himself is left. He's just a very cool, not-sad-at-all guy.'
  • unenlightened
    4.7k
    - self-contamination that can occur by touching and reusing contaminated maskNOS4A2

    Forgive the naivety, but if my mask is contaminated, and there is a danger of it contaminating me, doesn't that mean it's working?

    1. As long as there is a a shortage of PPE, the public cannot trust advice about PPE for the general public.

    2. The main function of a mask in public spaces is to protect other people from the wearer's possible infection. It doesn't stop one breathing it in, but greatly reduces how much one breathes out. This is why it is a virtue signal.

    3. It worked in the middle ages against the plague.

    4. After all the kind words about Muslims covering their faces, masks have enormous irony value.
  • SophistiCat
    1.2k
    The scientific consensus seems to be that unless one is wearing an N95 mask, and wearing it properly, one is probably not limiting the distribution of corona virus much.Bitter Crank

    There is no such scientific consensus. The evidence is mixed, but the consensus, if anything, is that masks are somewhat effective, some more than others. Don't fall victim to all-or-nothing thinking: even a 20% reduction of the probability of transmission is better than nothing.
  • NOS4A2
    3.2k


    That's a good counter-signal, right there. See if people are signalling something, so you can react by counter-signalling. Nothing like defining yourself by countersignalling signals. Some would think that this way-of-living suggests a resentment that has metastasized - why would anyone base their choices around reactions to others' choices otherwise? defining themselves in terms of the people they hate, even as a negative outline?

    But who knows, really?

    Maybe you just know that when you walk into a convenience store without a mask, people will know you're the real deal, no limp-noodle liberal. 'That's a cool guy,' people with sunglasses on motorcycles will say, 'That's not someone who has tragically come to define himself entirely in reaction to the people he professes to hate, so that nothing of himself is left. He's just a very cool, not-sad-at-all guy.'

    That is likely true of people who like to signal to others, for whatever reason. But absent the motive to show off, there are many other valid reasons to refrain from adopting habits and norms others have adopted without question.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.7k
    There is no such scientific consensus.SophistiCat

    Technically, true: No consensus. However, there is consistently less certainty about the value of various kinds of masks people are wearing than the value of social distancing (6 feet), hand washing after promiscuous contact with publicly touched surfaces (door handles, bus / subway straps, hand railings, store check-out equipment, etc.

    True, 20% reduction of risk IS better than nothing, but avoidance of avoidable pubic contact is too. I for one don't get around much these days. I don't like it, but...
  • NOS4A2
    3.2k


    I think the reasoning of the WHO is that there was, as of the time of their guidance, little scientific evidence of their efficacy in certain situations, and that the unintended consequences of such measures (leaving little masks for doctors and nurses for example) could be dire. Their stance is subject to revision given more study and resources, I’m sure.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.7k
    what makes you think they are ineffective?Judaka

    Masks are certainly made which can be worn for hours and remain effective. These are not generally available to members of the public, or are quite expensive. Many masks -

    do not fit very firmly against the face (without beard hair) and therefore leak air. beards cause extensive air leaking, unless the mask can be fastened tightly against the face/hair

    get wet from moisture in one's exhaled air and soften or disintegrate fairly soon (if made out of paper)
    are quite uncomfortable after a period of time; this results in people fidgeting with the mask, getting virus on their fingers (if infected), and then fingering the can of corn you will buy 10 minutes later

    do not actually stop all droplets from coughs, sneezes, or talking from escaping the mask enclosure

    Still and all, I do wear the best mask I can find when in enclosed pubic places.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.7k
    The great thing about 'virtue signaling' is that people identify the signaler as virtuous, without the signaler having to actually go to the considerable inconvenience of being virtuous.
  • Echarmion
    1.3k
    The great thing about 'virtue signaling' is that people identify the signaler as being virtuous, without the signaler having to actually go to the considerable inconvenience of being virtuous.Bitter Crank

    The great thing about labeling behaviours as "virtue signaling" is that you get to identify the signaler as a hypocrite and can dismiss both them and their behaviour without having to actually go to the considerable inconvenience of questioning your own behaviour.
  • Isaac
    2.2k


    The great thing about dismissing the 'labelling of behaviours as virtue signalling', is that you get to ignore the problems with virtue signalling whilst maintaining your ability to gain the social advantages of doing so.

    We could go on...
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.8k
    The great thing about labeling behaviours as "virtue signaling" is that you get to identify the signaler as a hypocrite and can dismiss both them and their behaviour without having to actually go to the considerable inconvenience of questioning your own behaviour.Echarmion



    Yea, @Bitter Crank!

    Other people proclaiming how virtuous they are makes you relatively less virtuous by comparison... You must therefore question your own behavior post-haste! (After all these years, your virtue remains fully intact I trust!).
  • Echarmion
    1.3k
    The great thing about dismissing the 'labelling of behaviours as virtue signalling', is that you get to ignore the problems with virtue signalling whilst maintaining your ability to gain the social advantages of doing so.

    We could go on...
    Isaac

    It seems like the best strategy is to avoid using hasty generalisations like that in the first place. It's not like you cannot debate the pros and cons of a behaviour without engaging in armchair psychoanalysis.

    Other people proclaiming how virtuous they are makes you relatively less virtuous by comparison.VagabondSpectre

    That's of course nonsense, and not anything I said.
  • Marchesk
    3.3k
    The great thing about arguing over virtue signalling is that we get to waste time arguing instead of ... ah fuck it, I'm going to watch Netflix.

    As to the OP, My work is debating wearing masks among other policies if and when we go back to the office. We did an anonymous survey, and a significant number of responses indicated either that masks were too uncomfortable to wear for hours at a time, or the lack of faith in coworkers to follow the rules, so we should all just remain working at home until their is a vaccine.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.8k
    The great thing about labeling behaviours as "virtue signaling" is that you get to identify the signaler as a hypocrite and can dismiss both them and their behaviour without having to actually go to the considerable inconvenience of questioning your own behaviour.Echarmion

    That's of course nonsense, and not anything I said.Echarmion

    So why should we question our own behavior when we encounter someone that is "virtue signaling"?

    Is it because we should be jealous of their virtue?
  • Echarmion
    1.3k
    So why should we question our own behavior when we encounter someone that is "virtue signaling"?

    Is it because we should be jealous of their virtue?
    VagabondSpectre

    How do you know they are virtue signaling and not actually virtuous? Just saying they're "just signalling" doesn't make it so.
  • Isaac
    2.2k
    It seems like the best strategy is to avoid using hasty generalisations like that in the first place. It's not like you cannot debate the pros and cons of a behaviour without engaging in armchair psychoanalysis.Echarmion

    Indeed. Although a bit of armchair psychoanalysis might be thrown in for good measure...after all, we're doing everything else here from the armchair here, why not psychoanalysis too?

    The great thing about arguing over virtue signalling is that we get to waste time arguing instead of ... ah fuck it, I'm going to watch NetflixMarchesk

    The great thing about just saying "ah fuck it I'm going to watch Netflix" is that you get to go and watch Netflix...or is that the bad thing about it...?


    I'm not really involved in this whole mask/non-mask issue being semi-retired anyway and living rurally, but as a bit of armchair psychoanalysis...

    Masks look cool (pace Hong-Kong protests), they make a strong permanent visual statement and they can be profited from. There's also debate about the usefulness, yet they're being widely adopted and politicised.

    Hand-washing doesn't look cool, it makes you look like an OCD-suffering nerd, it's usually done in private and it cannot be profited from. There's virtually no debate at all about how absolutely vital it is, yet It's being far less well adopted than it should and with very little political support.

    So which aspect seems likely to be responsible for widespread adoption and politicisation?
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.8k
    How do you know they are virtue signaling and not actually virtuous? Just saying they're "just signalling" doesn't make it so.Echarmion

    Sometimes they doth virtue signal too much, me thinks...
  • Echarmion
    1.3k
    Indeed. Although a bit of armchair psychoanalysis might be thrown in for good measure...after all, we're doing everything else here from the armchair here, why not psychoanalysis too?Isaac

    Because it's usually done in a dismissive manner and amounts to little more than an ad-hominem.

    Sometimes they doth virtue signal too much, me thinks...VagabondSpectre

    Can you answer the question or are you just virtue signaling?
  • Isaac
    2.2k
    Because it's usually done in a dismissive manner and amounts to little more than an ad-hominem.Echarmion

    I thought we were avoiding judging worth by hasty generalisations?
  • Echarmion
    1.3k
    I thought we were avoiding judging worth by hasty generalisations?Isaac

    Clever, but then I am saying we shouldn't do it because it doesn't usually end well. I am not judging someone.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.8k
    It would depend on the context now wouldn't it?

    Do you want a hypothetical example of why it might be obvious that someone is virtue signaling? A real world anecdote perhaps?
  • Echarmion
    1.3k


    I'd like to know what methods you'd practically apply to figure out if someone is virtue signalling or not. Short of them outright telling you that's what they're doing.
  • Isaac
    2.2k
    I am saying we shouldn't do it because it doesn't usually end well. I am not judging someone.Echarmion

    Fair enough, I was being a little facetious and did get the distinction you were making really.

    I do seriously think that armchair psychoanalysis gets an unfairly bad rep though. It rarely yields solid answers, but then few 'armchair' activities do. Our motives (including hidden and subconscious ones) are a massive part of our interactions and the way we form beliefs and concepts. If speculation about them is too early ruled 'out of play' then we're going to miss most of what's going on. I think abandoning it is excessive, just taking it with the very large pinch of salt all armchair analysis requires is sufficient.
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