I guess liquor stores in the USA are deemed essential, whereas "Mexican authorities ordered the shutdown of all nonessential businesses and industries for the entire month of April in hopes of stemming the spread of the coronavirus. To the shock of many, added to the list of nonessential industries was all alcoholic beverage production. "
In a video on the CDC’s website. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said that cloth face coverings can be made from an old scarf, bandanas and hand towels, and shows how to fashion a face covering from a t-shirt and two rubber bands.
Yes, it was a very mixed message from the government, and one that made no sense to anyone who thought it through-- except for the part that it was/is more important for hospital staff, first responders, and those working in essential industry, to have them than for the general public to have them.
The supply is woefully inadequate, and any statement in the early days advising their use by the general public would have further worsened the supply problem. So, the public was left to read between the lines, and do the research, and do what could be done.
ETA: "There are academic physicians who are not in the front lines sit in their labs, and they criticize and say, 'well, we need to do studies. A double-blind controlled study.' It will take three to six months. That's very good in peace times. But there are people dying every second, and we don't have the luxury of time. So when we're in a war, there's battlefield medicine. You have to take the initiative; you have to be brave; you have to try things."
-Dr. Vladimir Zelenko