The 1918-1920 flu pandemic came in three major waves. After the first wave in the US, the virus subsided, and Americans were restless to have businesses reopened and for social life to resume. There was a growing movement to stop wearing masks, which had become ubiquitous - so much so that The Anti-Mask League of 1919 was formed. These were protests from those who thought the public health ordinance violated their liberty.
The virus came back with a vengeance in the fall and was much deadlier than the first wave, eventually killing more than 675,000 Americans and killing around 100 million of the 500 million it infected worldwide before it was over. This was before mass vaccination, before the electron microscope; this is the tragedy of herd immunity and stubborn ignorance.
Viruses aren't political; they don't care about your theories or speculations or projections. They're unthinking parasites only wanting to replicate and use your body as a host.
Wear a mask.