[Sun Gazette Newspapers provides content to, but otherwise is unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]

It’s been nearly three weeks since the Biden administration cajoled, entreated and enticed the federal government’s public-health leadership to declare masks an unnecessary appendage (like tonsils or an appendix), at least for those who have been fully vaccinated.

And, surprisingly to us, some large corporate outlets (from Target to Giant) have come along – welcoming in customers sans mask, so long as they have the vaccine flowing through their bodies.

Yet, we’re sure seeing a lot of people, no doubt many of them fully protected through inoculations, masked up as they wander the interiors of stores and other venues. (And don’t get us started on those wandering around with masks on outdoors, a precaution the scientific data now prove was largely unnecessary from the start.)

Why are so many folks among us purposely snubbing “the science” – the one thing so many have insisted we follow (at least when it suits their narrative)?

We can think of four possibilities:

• Unenlightened. Perhaps large swaths of the public remain unaware what the evolving science has to tell them. If so, they might want to broaden their selection of information outlets. Just a thought.

• Fearful. Perhaps some are still nervous that the vaccines won’t work. That’s not unreasonable, but again, people need to educate themselves. For all that we know currently, the vaccines are proving remarkably effective. • Susceptible to peer pressure. Some people are simply cowed by those in this fourth group:

• Virtue-signalers. Some people, particularly in this area, have grown accustomed over the past year to using masks to proclaim their moral self-righteousness. They may be finding it hard to give up that sense of superiority, and most likely feel that “going commando” would somehow be a sop to the former president, Donald Trump – who’s gone but, in their obsessiveness, never forgotten.

If you’ve got any other possible reasons beyond those fourth, shoot them our way. But that’s all our brain trust could come up with.

• • •

A reader recently wrote in to complain that a previous editorial on the topic of masks was “mean-spirited.”

He must be new to the party, we surmised, because mean-spirited is kind of the way our editorials always have been – to all sides of the political spectrum – when being that way is necessary to drive the point home.

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