I hate wearing a mask. It sucks.

It’s hard to breathe. Every inhale is full of your own hot, humid air.  My glasses fog with every exhale. When I try to talk it slides up or down uncomfortably, exposing my nose, mouth or both.  The elastic bands make my ears sore after a while and push them forward.  I look like a human Dumbo.

Do you know what else sucks?  Concentrating on driving.  Keeping my eyes on the road, my hands on the wheel, and my senses alert for what’s going on.  I do a lot of driving.  And, I have a ton of work to do for my various jobs.  It sucks to spend all that time being unproductive, just sitting there behind the wheel of a car.  I would much rather be on my cell phone or laptop; texting, emailing or talking to people and working on projects.  Stuff needs done, right?

And while we’re on the subject of driving, what’s with the “no alcohol” rule? It sucks to have to be sober when you get behind the wheel of a car. Why shouldn’t I have the right to drink my ass off, stumble into my vehicle, and swerve my way home? Isn’t it my right to live my life the way I want to?  Why do we have these totalitarian laws preventing me from driving drunk, or from behind a cell phone, or stoned?

I think we all know why.  It’s because when you act like that, you endanger other people through no fault of their own. You have a right to mess up your own life, but you don’t have the right to wreck somebody else’s.

If all of this seems stupid to you- it is.  But what’s really stupid is the refusal and reluctance of people to wear masks during this pandemic, even now.  We’re many months into it.  Millions across the world have died!  

So why all the fuss over mask wearing? It’s the same principle as in the driving rules.  You can’t be reckless and endanger other people.  Covid spreads.  If it didn’t, you could go mask free and confine the suffering to your own stupid ass.  But that’s not how it works.

Is wearing a mask inconvenient?  Yes. Does it suck?  Yes. Should we all just shut up and do it anyway?  YES!

I don’t want to hear any more garbage about our individual, constitutional rights or socialist-totalitarian takeover, or any nonsense like that. If we are ever going to regain the normalcy we all crave, we have to get this thing under control. Scientists have told us that wearing a mask in public is one of our best tools. So why would we just leave our best tool sit on the shelf?

Maybe, for a variety of reasons, you don’t care about Covid.  Maybe it doesn’t make you nervous because you feel healthy.  Or, maybe you view it as an unfortunate natural phenomenon that we just have to accept. 

Do you know what else used to be an unfortunate, natural phenomenon? Smallpox, polio, measles, the bubonic plague – the list goes on.  

But you know what we did? 

We gave a shit and figured it out.  We eliminated them to the point that now we don’t really worry about those things anymore.  Do you think we can’t do that with Covid? The vaccines are already in distribution!  Masking up helps us live to get one.

In the case of texting or drinking while driving, we restrict our behavior to protect both ourselves and others.  Why should our behavior with Covid be any different? Yeah I know, there are laws regarding drunk driving and texting behind the wheel, and there are currently no masking laws for Covid.   I don’t think people flipped out when those driving laws were passed, but I’m pretty sure they would flip out if they passed a temporary mask wearing ordinance. But those laws would be essentially the same!

My mask protects you, your mask protects me.

You not driving drunk protects me. Me not driving drunk protects you.

Yes, we all highly value the individual freedoms we enjoy in America.  But, because we live in a society, even those rights have limits.  If you want to get lit and speed yourself into a tree while texting, on a private property with nobody else around- that’s your right.  But the moment you endanger somebody else with your actions, it’s time to call it what it is- bullshit.

If you want to live totally alone during the pandemic and not mask, that is your right.  But the minute you get out in public or encounter anybody else, you also encounter their right not to have their health endangered by you.  Failing to mask in the presence of others is bullshit.

It’s not about whether or not we find the masks comfortable.  And most of us are not in a position to scientifically determine whether or not they’re necessary.  But we can rely on the expertise of those who are.  There is only one choice to make here and I’m sick of seeing so many of us pour fuel on the fire by not doing the right thing.

Wear a mask.  Correctly.  Over your mouth and nose.  It’s that simple.  

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