When historians look back on the year 2020, the overwhelming image that they'll no doubt see is that of Americans wearing masks. It is something that most of us didn't have as part of our daily wardrobe before this year. But in the midst of a pandemic which doesn't appear to yet be over, more people than ever are turning to masks as a way to stop spreading COVID-19.

A new Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll shows that Iowans are wearing their masks more often when out in public. But like everything else this year, those poll results still break down along political party lines. The Des Moines Register reports that the poll shows that 76% of all Iowans say that they wear a mask almost always or most of the time when they are in public indoor places. That compares to just 54% back in June. Back then 26% of people said that they never wear a mask in public. Compare that to this polls rate of only 9%.

And while, yes, the poll shows that mask wearing still does break down along party lines, the Register reports more people from both sides of the aisle are masking up. The poll reveals that 94% of Democrats say they were a mask all the time or most of the time when indoors in public. That is up from 76% in June. Among Republicans, 64% say they always wear a mask, up from 37% in June.

I went shopping at a couple of different stores over the weekend, and I was very encouraged by nearly everyone I saw wearing a mask. While Iowa doesn't have a statewide mask mandate, many communities, including Cedar Rapids, do have them. That may be another factor in rising usage rates. The bottom line is no one wants to have to wear a mask. We'll all be happy when this pandemic is behind us and we can breath a bit easier. But until then, do your part and mask up.

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