Should wearing a mask be made compulsory?

There are two ways to manage a population.

One way is to pass laws and impose penalties for non-compliance. The other way is to provide advise and let the people use their common sense.

Which method should be used?

Here is my answer. The method to be used should depend on the certainty of the issue.

Nearly all citizens will agree that murder, violent crimes and rioting should be stopped. They will agree that we have pass laws and impose heavy penalties to ensure compliance.

A different approach should be taken for matters that are uncertain. For example, although most people agree that a mask helps to stop the spread of the corona virus, but it is probably not necessary to wear the mask when there are few or no other people around.

Should it be compulsory to wear a mask at all times when a person is outside the house?

A good approach is to advise the public on the usefulness of wearing the mask but to allow them to use their judgment.

Most people will probably agree that it is advisable to wear the mask in a crowded place. Indeed, if someone refuse to wear a mask, the other people will exert social pressure on the unmask person. After a while, most people will follow the norm.

The norm will be modified based on experience. If the virus spreads widely, most people will pay more attention and opt to wear a mask when outdoors.

If the infection is low and the virus is mild, most people will opt not to wear a mask except in crowded places.

We must also be aware that wearing a mask has its negative impact. It impedes breathing and talking.

I prefer that people should be given the suitable advice and be allowed to use their common sense, when the issue is not clear.

 

Tan Kin Lian

 

 

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11 Responses to “Should wearing a mask be made compulsory?”

  • TKL's doppelganger, TanKimLan:

    They can make judgement? You one good example.
    Safer to give a ‘wide berth’ especially look like you.

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  • Double the Penalty:

    Sure, let people get away with not wearing mask in open spaces when they are alone. However, double the penalty when people are not wearing masks when they should, like in supermarkets, public transports, lifts and eating places. We do not want to be like the USA where people are given too much freedom to do the wrong thing.

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  • sengkang kia:

    RIGHT FROM ONSET,WEARING OF MASKS SHOULD BE MANDATORY UNLESS FOR SPECIAL PHYSICAL CIECUMSTANCES N EVEN THAT,PHYSICAL DISTANCING N CONTAINMENT SHUD BE OBSERVED.

    NO NEED TO ARGUE ON IT.
    BUT TAKING RESERVES LIKE BANDITS AND UNEQUITABLY DISBURSING IT IS WRONGFUL.

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  • Dun Bluff Mi U Tink I 2pid?:

    Tan Golden Chain is wasting his time thinking from the place where sun doesn’t shine.

    Of course must wear mask lah! We are still in Dorscon Orange and stuck in first wave leh. Better be Kiasu, Kiasi, Kiabor and protect ourselves than listening to the so-called Taskforce’s advice. What do you expect when the Health Minister is an electrician? We have the President of International Society of Infectious Diseases (ISID) in SG but they didn’t wanna use him leh.

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  • Harder Truths:

    Your parents should have worn a condom and saved us from your drivel.

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  • Billy ma:

    I like to believe that Singaporeans from now on will be less shy about wearing mask when out of the home.

    Before this, most of us don’t see the need to wear mask & coupled with our weather, it’s not quite fashionable to be seen with a mask.

    Now that it seem the virus is here to stay, it’s prudent to be on the safe side with a mask on.

    But it seen mask makers are making advantage of the situation by jacking up the price.
    It’s rather annoying that PAP doesn’t seem to want to take care of this.

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  • @Billy ma

    Zoon bo? Masks are now dirt cheap in China with medical masks going for a few cents apiece! In fact, I took the opportunity to stock up with 1000 pieces in preparation for the 2nd/3rd wave, which I anticipate would happen during the colder season, namely Autumn.

    Maybe Temasick owns a mask producing plant? lol

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  • Wear lah:

    Want to be like USA ?
    The damage still not enough ? so many Job losts and more coming…
    Wear the mask lah…

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  • Gold Chained:

    Harder Truths:
    Your parents should have worn a condom and saved us from your drivel.

    That’s a good one. I am thinking something like that too.
    This guy like old people used to say, “The body is completely dead but only the mouth is still yapping.”

    He likes to criticise the government, yet he is an outright COWARD, disguising his criticism in a subtle manner, so much so it backfires back at him.

    Tan Kin Lian, give us a break man. Enough of your nonsense. Shut the fxxks up.

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  • Deadly virus:

    So many cases and death around the world already.More than 16M cases now.
    This Virus is much more deadly than thought.
    The suffering, damages and costs to livelihoods will be long lasting.
    Better take it seriously and do the utmost to reduce the chance of getting infected.
    Wear your mask lah…

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  • Eddie:

    I think TKL is right: when I was in HK circa 28 Feb, nearly 99% of the public wore masks voluntarily without any asking or mandate. So three of us Singaporeans felt so safe that we did not want to mask up, as it was uncomfortable too. But when we moved around especially in the MTR we were stared at and were told by the public to put on masks, don’t know for our safety or their safety?? Only recently did their govt made it mandatory to put on masks in public lest they will be fined. Anyway, with the vast majority already masked (nearly 99%) this mandatory ‘law’ would not encounter problems and if at all – just a handful.
    So there is no top-down misjudgments by obsencely overpaid SIN(ful) ministers who in turn caused plenty of unhappiness and fines to the public!

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