I am commenting on the July 21 letter “Don’t force all to wear masks.” The author states that “all rights matter, including the right to not wear masks.” That statement represents the reasoning of people who resist wearing masks.

Even our president now says it would be better to wear masks!

My question: Why have people refused to wear masks? Yes, I think it is a matter of rebellion and pride. But I have two more reasons why I think most of our leaders, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials, haven’t always been stronger with their directives:

1. Some say they were delayed in concluding that everyone needs to wear masks because they came to understand this virus better.

2. I also think our country felt uneasy about wearing masks because the practice was not culturally acceptable. Our instincts made this practice very uncomfortable.

I lived in Asia for most of my life. Most people there put on a mask with the slightest onset of the common cold — to keep from spreading germs. Most Asian countries have fared much better than our country against COVID-19. Part of the reason has to do with masks!

Jeremy Howard wrote this for a March 28 op-ed in The Washington Post: “When historians tally up the many missteps policymakers have made in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the senseless and unscientific push for the general public to avoid wearing masks should be near the top.”

I believe it.

Phil Schwab

West Lampeter Township