For what it matters, now is the time to act with compassion, kindness, and cooperation. — Unknown
It’s Not About Me
Why do I have to wear a mask? As I walk Lake Quannapowitt, the mask fogs up my sunglasses, and my nose becomes congested. My breathing sucks in the cloth against my skin. Walking with a mask is not fun. Wearing a mask is not about me, though. The mask is about you.
When I wear a mask, I prevent my germs from latching onto the stranger who is crossing my path. I am rising above my discomfort to protect those around me. To stop the spread, I wear a mask.
It’s About Them
As I walk the lake, my lips curve up when I see others in masks. I am thankful for their compassion for me, for strangers, and for health care workers. My skin crawls when a group of mask-free folks are moving towards me, belly-laughing their germs into my space.
I want to give them the stink-eye to show my disdain. They do not care, though. Those ignorant fools are only concerned with themselves. COVID-19 is only a hoax until you lose someone you love.
The Complete Assholes
Yesterday, as I went on my daily walk, I passed a group of men. I was in an area where you cannot move into the street to avoid close proximity. I was wearing a mask. They were not.
They did not part to give me space to pass through. I could have easily collided my shoulders into theirs. A minute later, they passed another person who was not wearing a mask. This time, they shifted like Moses’ parting of the Red Sea, putting plenty of space between them and the mask-less person. My cheeks were hot with fury, but I bit my tongue. The words I wanted to utter were not nice, and I do not like profanity.
When confronted with a mask-less individual, they took precautions in protecting themselves. I thought they were ignorant until their actions showed me they were just plain, old assholes.
Protecting Myself, Protecting Others
The weather is getting warmer, and I want the sun to kiss my skin. I am cooped up all day, working solo in my apartment. My legs need stretching and my muscles need to flex. The fresh air and body movement does wonder for my well-being. While enjoying nature, I want to minimize my risks of receiving or spreading COVID-19. Thus, I wear a mask. When others do not, I try to put space between us. If this is logistically impossible, I turn my face to avoid germs coming into contact with my face.
Protect Our Heroes
What happens when we have sent too many sick people to our hospitals and there are not enough beds? Who will protect us when all of our healthcare professionals are sick because we were selfish? Why are our healthcare professionals using the same PPE for five days, when PPE should be changed between patients? Is this sanitary? We have the power to stop the spread. How? Wear the damn mask.
Let’s Overcome COVID-19, Together
Everyone is experiencing this virus, from different perspectives. Some folks are working; others are not. People are making more money on unemployment, while others are making less work. I have food on my table. My neighbor may be struggling. I want to see my family and friends. Others are feeling cooped up with their loved ones, begging for space. These are uncertain times.
There are countries who never closed their economy. Their citizens wore masks and distanced themselves from others, without government mandates. In contrast, Americans are spoiled.
Instead of showing compassion for others, Americans protest. We taunt Darwinism. U.S. citizens prefer to sacrifice our parents and grandparents for the dollar and our comfort. We watch the world shut down and our death tolls surpass all others. Poison centers have seen spikes after sheep drank bleach. We laugh at these people, blaming their stupidity. We are assholes.
What can we do to move forward? How can we kick-start our dying economy? Make smart choices, and show compassion for others by wearing the damn mask.
This post was previously published on Change Becomes You and is republished here with permission from the author.
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