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Not to beat a dead horse, but ...

Here, in no apparent order, are several activities even the most liberty-conscious among us have decided we're at least reasonably OK with allowing to be governed by rules set up by local, state and federal entities.

• Driving on the right side of the road. Unless you are reading this from Great Britain, in which case, well, thanks, but, huh?

• Wearing shoes and shirts in restaurants. Unless you're country music singer Kenny Chesney. And only one of us is.

• Wearing clothes in public. And I think I speak for everyone when I say, that's a really, really, REALLY good thing for a whole lot of us.

• Stopping at stop lights and stop signs. OK, maybe we all agree with this in principle, but might be a little shaky about it in practice. At the least, we expect the other drivers to do it.

• Speed limits. See the earlier comment. And no, despite my best attempts to argue otherwise, speed limits aren't suggestions. Police will tell you. As will judges. And insurance companies.

• Speeding in school zones. Ya, don't even play. Just don't.

• Not running over someone in a crosswalk. I'm going to suggest you don't want to run over anyone anywhere, but it really seems like a bad idea in a crosswalk. It's kind of officially bad when you do that.

• Not parking in a spot reserved for people with disabilities. Because, you're not that guy.

• Not parking in a spot reserved for expectant mothers. Because you're really not that guy.

• Tagging your car. At least now you don't have to stand in line at the DMV, but you still have to do it. Making something easier doesn't make it go away.

• Paying your taxes. And the IRS is super specific and very committed to this. Just whip out the Ouija board and ask Al Capone.

• Sending your kids to school. As a parent emeritus (all my children are adults now, so I've officially moved into "advisor" status) and as an observer of fully functioning parents during this time when everyone is at home, I'm going to suggest this is a lot more of a privilege and a lot less of an obligation. And as a word of clarification, "advisor" does not mean "understands algebra and is able to communicate that to a middle-school student." So don't ask me. Something about X's and Y's. I don't know. Carry the two ...

• The placing of stamps on letters. For those of you who still send letters. Both of you. You still have to put a stamp on it, because rain, snow or gloom of night won't stop the postman, but not having a stamp will.

• Any of seven or eight thousand things you have to do, or not do, to get on or stay on an airplane. I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the effort and expense I have to go to in order to be uncomfortable for two hours. And I never, ever want to say "bomb" in my normal life. Except when I can't.

There are, obviously, more. But I mention all these things not because I'm offering some great guide to civic responsibility. I mean, they're sort of obvious. And, as anyone who has ever asked me to get something out of the fridge or off a shelf will tell you, I like, function best and sort of shut down if I don't have lots and lots of obvious.

The point is, virtually all of these things are things we widely accept that might inconvenience us, but we do them because, well, they're good for us, good for everyone. Yeah, I know, sometimes traffic is a lot lighter in the other lane, but, rules are rules and we've all sort of agreed that particular one works.

So, if we're willing to accept some things just work better if we all put up with a little discomfort for the sake of everyone, then maybe we can accept that, when faced with, oh, I don't know, a worldwide pandemic, we might want to take the minimal precaution for ourselves, those around us and the more threatened members of our community. Which, as recent numbers indicate, is all of us.

All that to say this: Wear your mask. It's not an infringement on your civil liberties. It's how we keep people alive. And while that might be inconvenient, it's always a good idea.

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