Masking The Emotion of the Moment


Sometimes, I just wanna roll down my windows, push the gas pedal down, blast the music, and feel the wind whip my hair, at 100 plus miles an hour.

But I don’t, cuz a) I could harm or kill someone else, or myself.

b) I need to set an example for my grandchildren, thus keeping them safe.

Sometimes. I don’t want to wear a seat belt cuz it hurts my chest on bad pain days.

But I wear one because a) wearing one is the difference between life and death in many car accidents.

b) I need to set an example for my grandchildren, thus keeping them safe.

And then there is the obvious c) because it’s the law.

But what if it wasn’t the law? Would you make

the safer, ethical decision anyway? I’d like to think you would.

Sure you might be just fine barreling down the freeway, sans safety belt. You might feel amazing when you make it safely home. You might even feel a rush of joyful freedom for a few hours. Or… you might skid out of control and hit another car, killing innocent people. Your expression of individual freedom just cost lives, and ruined the lives of their families for a very long time, just so you could feel free for a short while.

Because isn’t this really about feelings? You don’t wanna feel uncomfortable just cuz a (well-proven) scientific theory might be wrong. Or maybe you just wanna fit in with the group of people who most closely share your ideology. You don’t want to be made fun of, or accused of being fearful. Or perhaps fear is what’s motivating you. You are afraid to face the truths of this pandemic, so you have decided to bury your head in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist. You have decided to believe the conspiracy theories that the numbers are inflated. You’ve succumbed to denial.

So why not wear a mask in public? Decades of scientific evidence tells us it is an important part of infection control. Medical professionals don’t endure hours of discomfort just for kicks and giggles and chronic “mascne”.

Private businesses don’t require masks just so people can scream at their entrances and walk away, never to return. They do it to protect their patrons.

We wear masks, because science. We aren’t wearing a political statement. We are wearing a vital part of infection control and saving lives. Because humanity.

This is not about your individual freedom. If it was, then you’d be able to yell fire in a crowded theatre where there is no flame. If it was, the highways would be full of hundred mile an hour whipped hair, crumpled cars, and emergency vehicles. This is about saving lives. Period.

So ask yourself, what is more important in this situation? My feelings, or the feelings of those loved ones most vulnerable to disease, who see your decision to not wear a mask as a betrayal and a deep hurt? My feelings, or the lives of those who could catch the virus from an asymptomatic person without a mask?

Feeling the wind on your face is not the most important feeling in this moment. Feeling

compassion for your fellow humans so they may live another day, to breathe another day, unaided by a ventilator, that is the emotion of the moment.

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