Thursday, May 7, 2020

Game of Masks

I'm going to keep it real--I do not like wearing a mask. It's a little constricting, it sticks to my lip balm, and when I'm walking, I sometimes get a little claustrophobic like, "Am I getting enough air?" which makes me hyperventilate just a bit. It's a small pain in the ass.  But when no one is about, I can take it down and suck a mean lungful if I so like.  It doesn't trouble me to wear one when I go to get gas or if I have to stop for an errand.

For aesthetic reasons, I have amassed a quantity of printed bandanas that ensure I can coordinate my outfits with my new must-have fashion accessory (I prefer to look "veiled" rather than acquire something more functional-looking) and since I literally see no one at close range in my newly-irregular travels, this is merely an adjustment. Sitting indoors and talking with a mask on is fine. I've adjusted to preferring to see other people doing the same. It's no more a hassle to me than wearing gloves in winter or carrying an umbrella (although I am starting to lose my mind a bit this spring over too much freaking rain and always carrying an umbrella). It's just a thing. I wear the thing so people are not alarmed by my potentially disease-laden exhalations. Short of locking myself in a cell like a Jainist ascetic, it's the least I can do--

And it is apparently just too much for some people out here, who have decided that their precious bodily fluids civil rights are being impaired by being asked to suit up their faces.  It's just little bit strange to have the party of "Wait a minute, what about the right to refuse service?" decide that governments and businesses insisting on masks are...."mask Nazis"? Wow. Imagine all those years we blithely saw signs outside convenience stores reading "No shoes, no shirt, no service" and didn't realize what that was going to lead to. 

Oh. Right. The bad people are the ones who don't want every smotherpucker out there horking germs onto essential workers so they can keep doing their jobs and not die.  The good people are the bare-faced liars who say this is about civil rights when it seems to be about partisan vice-signaling. 

Somehow, that doesn't sound right to me. 

I mean, take OH Representative Nino Vitale, as an example:

The man says he thinks wearing a mask dishonors God because people are made in the image of God and I dunno. He just looks like a guy who wants to show off that he invested $247 in Crest White Strips to me.  Does God wear pants? I don't know that God does, and I don't think we need an argument about whether it's cool for someone to stroll through Golden Corral with their whole braciole hanging out to determine we know people are human without seeing their various bits. Yes, if you say so, you are a stunningly beautiful child of God. Also put a mask on anyways, ya filthy animal.

Of course, it would help if the Commander-in-Chief of our very much conscripted anti-plague army of warriors would try and wear a mask himself. So far, the picture is--he sure doesn't, and goddamn the poor optics.  (Even if he limply explains he wears one "backstage" at an event at a manufacturing plant, which is the way Trump reminds you that the world is a fucking stage, baby.)   In part, I can sympathize--masks make my make-up and nose run, too! On the other hand, if you can't lead by any other way at all (and he can't) maybe he could try leading by example on one little thing.

Maybe there is a psychological reason why just wearing a mask is the cause of so much resistance--the denialism, our old friend, once again, and the visual indication that something has changed in the form of the unfamiliar mask and the change in routine. But resisting wearing a mask because "I am afraid of the unfamiliar and changes in my routine!" probably does not sound quite as butch as the anti-mask resistance intended. Also, denying the seriousness of the disease is just fucking bonkers, because no one, and I mean no one, is faking the refrigerated trucks and the bodies, or playing around with people's paychecks, for some grotesque partisan game.

The COVID-19 threat is real. Wearing a mask to protect others is a sign of strength. Making it all about anything else at all seems like a tantrum to me.

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