For those of you who object to people wearing masks in public or don’t see the need for me to do so, please understand the following:
I wear the mask when in public. I don’t wear the mask to protect myself. I don’t wear the mask because I’m a sheep blindly following some secret agenda to enslave us all. I don’t wear the mask because I am blinded by fear, phobia or hypochondria .
I wear the mask in solidarity with all the doctors and nurses and healthcare providers, first responders, delivery people, store clerks and service providers of all kinds that every day put their health at risk just to provide the rest of us with the things we need to survive this crisis. I wear the mask because, while I know the odds of my transmitting the virus to you are extremely low, the cost to me in wearing the mask (minor personal discomfort and fogged sunglasses) —are laughably nothing in comparison to the potential damage my spreading the virus could – even if remotely – have on you. I wear the mask because I care about you, I care about others and I care about my nation. I wear the mask to show that I am one with all of you who care about others, their communities and our nation.
If you don’t wear the mask I would suggest you’re either misinformed, misanthropic or, in some (hopefully few) cases actively malevolent. . When you criticize me for wearing the mask rather than thanking me for at least caring about protecting you – even if you don’t think you need to protection – you are being rude. When you criticize me for wearing a mask as not being needed, then you are misinformed according to every reputable health professional. When you walk towards me not wearing a mask you’re acting like a misanthrope who doesn’t give a damn about me or my family. When you protest the pandemic public policies without masks but with guns, implicitly threatening violence if your views do not prevail, you are malevolent. In none of these instances are you acting as a good neighbor, a good citizen, a good American.
Wearing the mask in a time of pandemic, in a time where every major healthcare expert tells us at best doing so will save lives and at worst is like chicken soup – it couldn’t hurt!—is the minimum we all can do to pull together for the common good. Wearing the mask is a simple statement of empathy and caring for our fellow Americans, a public statement that we are willing to share a common burden and make a little sacrifice for the general welfare. Wearing the mask is the essence of patriotism.
So go ahead and protest quarantine restrictions and try to change government policies. That is your right. But wear the damn mask while doing so to show everybody that your protests and complaints aren’t all about you, that you care and want to protect everyone and not just yourself. Otherwise you just might be a misanthrope, if not malevolent.