To Mask or Not to Mask

In what can only be called stupid talking about stupid – there is quite a large bit of babbling happening on the internet about people who won’t mask. I have a theory. And since this is the internet, I’m gonna tell it to you.

I think there is a direct connection between people condemning and screaming about non-mask wearers on social media and people deciding that wearing a mask is somehow optional and/or an infringement on their rights.

In the olden days of my long gone youth – we learned about things from a very serious and trustworthy person named Walter Cronkite. He was a news anchor on the TV. We trusted him. If he got on TV and told us that masks were required to protect us, we would wear masks. Because no one else was telling us there was another option.

Walter Cronkite - Wikipedia

Or more precisely, no one we would listen to was telling us anything else. There were always lunatics on corners screaming about conspiracy theories, but everyone fully understood they were loons and we were not making any decisions based on their ranting.

These days everyone is talking all the time – telling you things. It’s a constant gossip garbage festival. Now I have not met anyone who refuses to wear a mask. But I have seen dozens and dozens of people condemning them on social media. I’ve seen news outlets reporting on what people say on social media. Because that is where we get our news now – they just scrape the bottom of the social media garbage can for the maggots and publish it.

It’s not that I don’t see people without masks or wearing a mask improperly. I do. But here’s my impression of all those people

Ehfuckit: The person who left the mask in the car. Too lazy to go back for it.

ParticipationRibbon: The person who is wearing a mask around their neck.

BeardProtection: The person who is wearing the mask on the chin,

Igottabeathe: The person who is wearing the mask just under the nose.

Imsweatingunderhere: The person who is wearing the mask appropriately.

Most of people have done all of the above at different points. Because we are human. No one is all one thing. Certainly we are not a homogenous group.

It’s not that I don’t believe that there are people who refuse to wear a mask. It’s that I think they got their balls to do that because so many people are screaming about people who refused so they figure they have lots of compadres in their quest to be selfish and are given fuel to do this. We are feeding them by giving prominence to the tiniest group.

Then add in how it easy it is to get in touch with the selfish and ignorant club on the internet and now we have a movement. A movement that I posit would not have existed in 1983. I don’t want to go back to the pre-internet world. I think only if you lived without it, can you appreciate it for all the small and lovely ways it improves life. From banking to spelling to random interesting questions. Back in 1983 we just continued to wonder about something that came up in conversation. We didn’t go to the library and research it. We just never found out.

I don’t want to go back there. But it is true that the internet is not working quite so well on a societal level. sigh.

8 thoughts on “To Mask or Not to Mask

  1. What’s the saying? “We risk being the most well-informed society that ever died of ignorance–” thanks to the internet.

    And yet, other countries–the more socialized ones, the ones with educated female leaders–are not having this problem. Probably because one political party did not uplift racism, stupidity, religious prejudice, and sexism in order to hang onto power.

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  2. I don’t see mask reluctance much in my area. I see the mask below the nose and all the variations but they aren’t deliberate. I have to make sure my mask is up when I talk too much as it will slip. When I see all that crap on TV or wherever I wonder if it’s a small minority scraped off the bottom to make the news “interesting.” Maybe, maybe not. Glad it’s not in my area. Today a guy was walking into Starbucks without a mask. He saw me and said, “OMG! I forgot!” turned around and went to his car for his mask. I believe he was sincere because he would have been asked to leave as soon as he opened the door. We all do stupid but not that kind of stupid intentionally. My biggest complaint is that I can’t hear as well but it’s something I’ll have to put up with. Better than the alternative!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. I still don’t have results from my test. I don’t feel sick but neither does the guy I was exposed to, who is positive. It definitely defines to me how important the masks are. People just don’t know if they are sick.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The conspiracy loonies have always been with us, and always will, alas. Things were much the same during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. (The name is misleading. Although it’s difficult to determine where it actually began, the first documented cases weren’t from Spain, but in the U.S it seems.) Many cities and states started to require citizens to wear face masks to try to slow down the spread, and almost immediately there sprang up very vocal and occasionally violent push back against masking, using many of the same and irrational claims we’re hearing today.

    The media has adopted this policy where it claims it believes that it needs to publish the opposing viewpoints of just about anyone, no matter how utterly bizarre and blatantly false those viewpoints may be. So we are in a situation where people who should be laughed out of the building for their utterly ludicrous claims are being treated seriously under the guise of being “fair and balanced” when, in fact, the only reason the media is giving these people a voice is, of course, money. If the media would adequately police itself and refrain from giving a voice to this garbage, it would go a long way towards slowing down the spread of this nonsense.

    The claim that they have to give them a voice because of “freedom of speech” is completely bogus, of course. The First Amendment applies only to the government, not privately owned media outlets. Newspapers, magazines, radio stations, internet media outlets, etc. engage in censorship all the time. And even the government has engaged in the censorship of material deemed harmful for one reason or another, i.e. some types of pornography, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great thoughts. I can’t understand the fuss over wearing the silly mask? What’s the big deal? We wear seatbelts now without even thinking. I remember finding them uncomfortable and annoying when they were first required but now, especially with all the evidence of how dangerous an accident can be without one, I wouldn’t even think about driving unbelted. What we have is a lack of sensible leadership in this country. Sadly, it all boils down to that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right, Nancy. The anti-mask thing is ridiculous. Restricting their freedom by making them wear a mask? We restrict “freedoms” all the time. Not just seatbelts. You have to go through training and be licensed to drive a car or fly a plane or perform dozens of other occupations. We restrict access to certain types of materials that are potentially dangerous. When one’s “freedom” to perform a certain activity is harmful to themselves or to others, pretty much everyone feels it is necessary to put restrictions on that activity.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Here are the first two paragraphs from a post I wrote following Tom Hanks’ interview with Lester Holt. Hanks and his wife caught COVID-19 and have now recovered.

    “Last night, Tom Hanks was interviewed by Lester Holt on NBC News. Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson caught COVID-19 while traveling and self-quarantined in Australia. Hanks tends to be worth listening to, as he speaks in a straightforward, reflective and unthreatening manner.

    When Holt asked him about the concerns and uncertainties of many, Hanks noted how to address such by doing what is asked of us. Hanks said what we have been asked to do to help each other and our community is the least we can do. It is disappointing that it is even an issue as there is a part we all can play. Wear a mask, socially distance and wash your hands. Something so simple that requires so little effort.”

    My brother-in-law, who served in the Air Force said it more candidly, “It is not like we are being asked to storm a beach at Normandy. Wear a mask.”

    Too many people in leadership positions have failed mission one of pandemics – tell people the truth. Some are rewriting history asking how could they have known about reopening. Excuse me, how could you not have known. What is happening now was predicted then. It is not a surprise. So, they need to learn from their mistakes a not let it happen again. And, if they cannot add value, they need to stop talking and let those who can do so.

    Keith

    Liked by 2 people

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