Face-coverings were widely mandated during the Covid-19 pandemic, on the assumption that they limit the spread of respiratory viruses and are therefore likely to save lives. I examine the following ethical dilemma: if the use of face-masks in social settings can save lives then are we obliged to wear them at all times in those settings? I argue that by en-masking the face in a way that is phenomenally inconsistent with or degraded from what we are innately programmed to detect as human likeness, we are degrading the social quality of our relations. Drawing on my previously published proof that Self is socially reflexive (mutually mirrored) rather than monadic in its constitution, I conclude that any widespread en-masking is also deleterious to humanity and therefore unethical.
Keywords Phenomenology  Social Ontology  Medical Ethics  Developmental Psychology  Face Masks
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