Moscow’s Kalena Kendell: The reason I choose not to wear a mask

This article ran in today’s Moscow-Pullman Daily News

She just poked the bear.

The internet is littered with articles explaining why people are choosing to wear a mask and why some people choose not to wear a mask. Words like selfish, uneducated, compliant and freedom are being tossed around on both sides of the argument. I thought I would share my own opinion on why I choose not to wear a mask.

I view not wearing a mask as a visual statement that I do not agree with the current happenings in our country, in our state and in our community. I do not wear a mask as a visual representation that I believe in the freedom of speech.

In April, I viewed the controversial video posted by California doctors Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi. From what I was able to view of the video, I witnessed two doctors recognize that the CDC and local authorities responded quickly to lock down society to save lives based on the limited information professionals had at the time of initial lockdown, but expressed concern and disagreement with how the CDC and local officials continued to respond to COVID-19 weeks into shutdown when additional information became available. I specify “from what I was able to view” because, unfortunately, I was never able to watch the full video. YouTube removed the video from online viewing before I was able to watch the second half, citing a violation of “Community Guidelines.”

Evidently, since coronavirus, YouTube now has standards. I only hope they extend those standards by removing videos on how to rob a grocery store or build a bomb along with removing videos on disagreement with public policy.

And it is not just YouTube that is censoring America’s opposing opinions to coronavirus. Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms are also blocking videos and comments that disagree with the CDC.

Since when can Americans not speak against the executive branch, or an executive agency? Last I checked, disagreement with executive functions were number one on social media and news material, so why is COVID different?

I choose not to wear a mask because I believe in the freedom of information, and I will not hide my voice.