The word has become like a cuss word to some people. It’s the downfall of our American rights if you ask certain people. The president won’t wear one, the VP didn’t wear one at the Mayo clinic. Well, as of yesterday, they are now required in the West Wing. It hit home there when people working in the White House tested positive. Since most of us will not be summoned to the White House any time soon, it can still be a point of tremendous contention for those that think they do more harm than good. Me? I fall somewhere in the middle on masks.

I am required to wear one while working. As of last week, I can’t even report for work without some form of face covering. They provide a mask once I get there. They sign the paycheck that I am grateful to have, so I am more than willing to comply. I don’t even think much about it anymore. It just is what it is. I do not feel they are trampling on my civil rights. People that come in are required as well to cover their faces. 99.9% of people are fine and are complying no problem. A guy on Saturday, with his girlfriend/wife, came without, asked if we supply them. I said yes, ask for one when you show your membership card. He asked “What if I don’t want to wear one?” I said it is required to shop, and he said nope. Turned and left. She looked pissed at him. I was like, why did you ask if you knew you didn’t want to comply? (There’s a big sign right by the entrance, but no pictures. Pictures may have helped him.) He sounded like a whiny bitch as I replay it in my head. My co-worker and I had a great time saying it over and over again in the most childish voices we could muster. We laughed and laughed away the rest of our shift while people came and went in their various masks and face coverings with no more incidents. (They are making exceptions for people with medical conditions, and small children under 2 don’t have to wear them either. This guy only acted like he was under 2)

People say they don’t help. That they can make things worse, make the wearer sick. I don’t pretend to be very medically knowledgeable. I am not a scientist, although I practiced alcohol chemistry for years. But it seems to me, that is two people are standing face to face talking, each wearing a mask, that the amount of spit, mist, funky breath things would be limited in the exchange. We can come back to that. I want to practice my Facebook MD skills a little more.

I tried to explain it to someone. I used a band-aid analogy. If you have a cut on your hand, for example, and it is deep enough for a band-aid, you put one on. Now, you know that the band-aid will not heal your cut. But you are using it for protection against dirt, bacteria, lemon juice, anything that might make that area hurt and to protect it from infection. It isn’t full proof, but it is preventative. It in and of itself won’t make your cut worse, if you change it and keep the area clean. Protection, that’s it. The mask isn’t that different, really. It’s just a preventative measure, to protect you a little bit. It isn’t a full proof plan, but it very likely won’t make things worse.

Here’s another thing, from my own convoluted mind. If you do not think masks work, next time you go to the doctor, the dentist, or even the tattoo artist, tell them you don’t need them to wear a mask for the procedure. That while they are providing the service on you, that you are ok with their mouth and nose being exposed to an open area on your body. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? You see, that mask is worn for your protection, but also theirs. Now, pushing your cart around a store is very different from a medical office or other sterile environment, but what is the harm in complying for the 20 minutes to half hour you are there? Why is that so difficult?

This isn’t going to last forever. But it is for a while. I am not saying “suck it up buttercup” but I am just saying my peace on the subject. I don’t wear a mask everywhere I go, but I am not going very many places these days. I am exposed to a lot of people throughout a day at work. It has always been that way for me. I work in a public setting. I have picked up dirty forks, empty margarita glasses that some drooler licked every speck of salt from the rim. I have picked up napkins with snot in them. My immune system is likely able to handle a little more than the average person out there. But it doesn’t mean I can’t get sick. So I appreciate any step that a person is willing to take to keep me safe from them, and them safe from me. I have long believed that people that constantly rub hand sanitizer all over themselves aren’t doing any favors for their immune system, but I won’t stop anyone from doing that by citing YouTube videos.

While they are masking up at the White House, and you stomp your foot and say “I am not going anywhere they make me wear a mask!” keep these things in mind: The virus does not care about your rights. It doesn’t care about mine either. It may not have hit as hard as we feared 2 months ago. And things will start to re-open, and there is very likely to be a second wave. But stores and restaurants, as they re-open, aren’t going to be what they once were, not for a while. I hear stories about restaurants opening, but with a limited capacity of 25% of their available space. Are you going to be upset if someone delivers your food without some PPE? What if they accidentally seat someone within that 6 foot buffer, and the person is a sneezer? There are many logistics to account for, and having a mask ready while you wait for certain things may be something to consider.

Of course you can discount anything I have said here. I am just some yahoo with a blog page. I don’t know more than the next guy, I just articulate my distorted views in this forum I made for myself. But if you made it this far through this period of time without your mask, go ahead and continue. But I would ask you to please stop discouraging others from protecting themselves. Stop posting things that have no standing anywhere but in your beliefs. Science exists, and tests upon tests are done on all things when it comes to medical stuff. Proven and disproven, confirmed and dismissed. But do not stop or attempt to stop someone from protecting their health when they are at the store.

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