Masks May Be the New Seat Belts

The CDC released its strongest guidance yet on face coverings yesterday, underscoring sweeping research about the benefits of universal masking, and noting that it can “help avert future lockdowns.”
 
The turn to prevention science recalls a similar shift to seat belts in cars, STATreports.
 
It took years of pressure before they became mandatory in all passenger vehicles in 1966.
 
The piece de resistance: science. Lawmakers couldn't ignore mounting evidence showing that seat belts increased the chances of surviving a crash.
 
Catchy mass communications drove the point home, including a “buckle up” jingle and the now-ubiquitous crash test dummies in PSAs.
 
As with masks today, with the science settled, seat belts backlash became a symbol of personal freedom. Still, mandates followed, and by 2019 91% of Americans were buckling up.

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