Absence of a virtue signal does NOT equal the absence of virtue.
I believe that the masking mania sweeping 2020 is directly connected to the public visual nature of the mask itself. When we as a society decide to assign negative intent to NOT doing something we are assigning a set of moral decisions to that individual which may or may not be true.
Individuals make the decisions on what is a valued virtue. The proven results of a practical behavior show its value. Outliers are allowed even if discouraged.
In a communist collectivist world view the decisions are made by the assigned authority. This is the root of our current dilemma.
The case for or against masking lies at the personal level not at the group level. Mass compliance requires agreement in a free society. The mask of rugged individualism is as porous and likely corrupt as the mask of communism. The difference is an individual bears the consequence of poor decisions in both.
We are all now struggling with flying the flag of virtue in public. The rule of law applies and defining what is appropriate and comfortable or even moral and healthy for one and for all is a wasteland of battle flags and casualties.
I repeat. The absence of a virtue signal does not equal the absence of virtue.
Intersection of principles and practices...