Ethics for toddlers

But but but freedom, my rights, freedom to do whatever I want to wherever I want to including in a tightly enclosed space shared with hundreds of people 5 miles above the planet.

American Airlines has removed a passenger from a flight after he refused to wear a face covering in compliance with its Covid-19 safety policy.

Brandon Straka was asked to wear a face mask on Flight 1263 from New York to Dallas, Texas, on Wednesday.

When Mr Straka refused, he was asked to leave the flight, the airline said.

Mr Straka said there was no law that required him to wear a face covering on the flight.

Doesn’t matter. There’s no law that says you can’t play a trumpet on the plane either, but that doesn’t mean you can. Airlines get to make rules governing behavior on the plane and especially during the flight. This is just normal. You can’t go to a restaurant and take all your clothes off. You can’t go to a bar and throw tomatoes at everyone. You can’t go to a bookshop and sing the Marseillaise over and over. There’s an infinite number of things you can’t do in public spaces that are not against the law but are in violation of the rules that protect everyone else’s comfort, safety, ability to enjoy the public space in question, and so on.

While there is no federal law mandating masks on US flights, all major US airlines have been enforcing face covering rules for passengers and crew since mid-May.

And they get to do that. An airplane is not your living room.

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