Before Face Masks, Americans Went to War Against Seat Belts
Many businesses have instituted similar policies to protect customers and staff.
It’s a relatively straightforward precaution with proven public-health benefits. Still, a small but vocal minority is resisting.
Some are fighting mask policies by invoking the Americans with Disabilities Act. Others are starting fistfights or even killing people.
Backlash against public-health safeguards has plenty of precedents: When the influenza pandemic swept through San Francisco in 1919, hundreds of “mask slackers” disobeyed the law and were arrested.
Even the seat belt, one of the most ubiquitous safety devices in modern history, faced a contentious battle for acceptance.
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