The normalization of mask-wearing likely contributes to rising homicide and car-jacking rates.
When I was a kid watching 1960s cowboy TV shows, the term “masked man” was a synonym for “criminal.”
(To be precise, bad guy masked men such as horse thieves wore bandana masks over their noses and mouths, while good guy masked men like the Lone Ranger and Zorro wore masks over their eye region.)
From TV Tropes:
A group of people wearing masks is never a good sign. …
This varies by mask:
… A Domino Mask, one that covers only the eyes, is a traditionally heroic mask. The Ghost Who Walks and The Spirit being two classic examples.
… If the mask covers the top half of the face, it emphasizes the mouth, aka gluttony: Never a good sign. Unless of course, it’s to show a Lantern Jaw of Justice instead.
… Masks that cover the lower half of the face are likelier to be worn by the cannibalistic, or someone whose lower face is likely very damaged (as in, no jaw). They’re also frequently worn by bandits in the Old West (possibly to keep out dust), as well as by ninjas who don’t do full masks, and Gangbangers to conceal their identities and/or broadcast what gang they’re with.
Granted, East Asians tend to wear masks on the streets every flu season, but they don’t have crime rates like we do.