Wearing A Mask In Public Places

- jim Young

“Who was that masked man?” - from the Lone Ranger Radio & TV Show

To be honest, I’m not sure that I totally buy into the hype of wearing a mask when out in public.

There are a lot of pros and cons and debates about the use of masks, which masks should and shouldn’t be used and even how they should and shouldn’t be used.

I have seen plenty of very impressive dramatizations online demonstrating the effectiveness of masks although I am not certain they necessarily have any real scientific backing.

But, at the same time, I don’t understand why so many people are so resistant to wearing a mask.

Vanity
Is it vanity? Some people think wearing a mask makes them look silly. Don’t worry about it. Who’s going to recognize you anyway? There’s safety in numbers. So what if you look silly? So does everyone else. Is it worth the risk? How will you feel about how you will look in your coffin?

Restrictive
Some people will tell you that it’s too hard to breathe and they are not getting enough oxygen. They may be right that they’re not getting enough oxygen to their brains, but it’s for some reason other than wearing a mask. These same people, however,  will have no issues with wrapping a scarf around their face as they prepare to head out to snowblow their laneways in -20°C weather. And yes - your glasses will also fog up when you’re wearing a scarf over your face too.

Individuality
Others may claim, “wearing a mask deprives me of my individuality.” Have you seen how many styles, and colours of masks have reached the market in just a couple of short months? Be creative. Make your own, if you must. You can wear a mask and still make any personal statement you wish.

Rights
“It’s an infringement of my rights.” It’s funny how so many people are now making the claim that being forced to wear a mask in public places is an infringement of their rights. Wasn’t it just yesterday that religious groups such as Muslims were being forced to remove their masks in public? Why was that not viewed as an infringement on their rights? You can’t have it both ways.

Control
Conspiracy theorists will allege that this is all just a government plot to control people. Guess what people? The government has been controlling you for the sake of your own safety for just about as long as “governments” have existed. That’s why we have seat belt laws. That’s why we have speed limits. That’s why boating licenses exist. That’s why we have drinking and driving laws. Want the government to quit trying to control you? Quit being stupid.

Herd Immunity
On the other hand, while I accept there may be some real value in wearing masks in public in the short term, I am very much opposed to the use of masks as a long term solution.

It’s not because I’m worried that wearing a mask is an infringement on my rights. It’s not because masks are uncomfortable. It’s not because masks are restrictive. It’s because I do believe in herd immunity and its ability to protect us, as whole, at least to some extent, from disease.

Of course, as expected, there is even controversy as to the effectiveness of herd immunity in combating the spread of Covid-19. However, that does not diminish the importance of the role herd immunity plays in limiting the spread of other diseases such as the common cold.

The mask cannot differentiate between the Covid-19 virus and the cold virus. It’s sole purpose is to prevent the spread of them all. So while the mask may be protecting us from Covid-19, it may also be weakening our resistance to fight off other diseases that we build up an immunity to, by exposing us to the viruses in small doses.

So for now, I will comply and wear a mask in public whether it is mandated by law or simply out of respect for the general public.

Why would I not?

Who Needs The Drama?
For the most part, I simply don a mask to avoid the drama. Who needs more drama in their lives? I put the mask on and people leave me alone.

I don’t wear my pajamas out in public. Not because they are not comfortable. Not because I sometimes wouldn’t like to. I dress appropriately in public simply out of respect for the other people I will encounter. During these times, wearing a mask is appropriate dress in public.

Want people to respect your rights and freedoms? You will first need to respect theirs.

So in the meantime, just put your mask on and shut the fuck up.

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