Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Rant: Masks

When you're dating, you tend to have a list qualities you're looking for in a potential partner. You also tend to have a list of deal-breakers. You start with the basics like values, lifestyle preferences, maybe religious or political views. You consider whether or not the person wants children, if they like or dislike dogs or cats, and so on and so forth. Over time you will add or subtract things from the list. Maybe you decide you actually DO want children. Maybe your political views change. Maybe one day you go to Dunkin Donuts with the man you're dating and he parks in the fire lane and hops out to get his coffee and you realize down to your very core that he is NOT the person for you. Maybe he gets back in the car and tells you that another customer in there called him out on his inconsiderate and illegal parking and maybe you wonder if you can get out of the car and find that customer and date him instead. So you add "parks in the fire lane" to your deal-breaker list. I speak from experience.

It's not just about the fire lane. There is a selfish entitlement possessed by some that makes my stomach turn. An attitude of "I know better" "I'm special" the rule applies to "everybody but me" that makes me seethe and hyperventilate. I get a rash. These people park in fire lanes, they block empty seats on trains and pretend not to notice people around them who might need to sit, they take highly structured fitness classes and deliberately do their own unsafe thing in an effort to make things more challenging (please just stop), they YELL into their cell phones when they are seated next to you in a quiet space, and now? They don't wear a mask. 

Maybe they have a mask, but it's slung underneath their chins or under their noses or sitting in their pockets. They don't have symptoms and come on, they've only been hanging out with family and friends and gone to a few little parties and a hair appointment. Everyone knows you can't get coronavirus from someone you know. They don't need a mask. It's fine. They're fine. Stop getting so upset. It's just them. Loosen up. The mask is uncomfortable. Know what else is uncomfortable? Dying. Mourning the loss of a loved one. Being on a ventilator. Also: bras, most pants and shoes, the seats at Fenway Park, but you manage to deal, don't you? Right. You do.     

Look. I know I have anxiety. I loved clear rules and guidelines and safety even pre-Covid. I know not everyone is going to be as vigilant as I am. Was there going to be a fire while that guy I was dating went in and grabbed his coffee? Probably not. Does every single person you see have the coronavirus? Probably not. But was there ever a better time to not be a jerk and embrace caution than now? More than 160,000 people in this country have died already. I'm going to guess that most of them didn't see it coming. If you've been so lucky as to avoid getting sick or avoid losing someone you love, can you humbly cover your respiratory face holes with a piece of fabric when you're not in your home? If you can't do that, I really want nothing to do with you.

*OBVIOUSLY I am talking about people who "just kinda don't wanna" with masks. Not people who have respiratory diseases and for whom it is unsafe to wear masks.

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