Wearing A Mask Is Not Normal
But Neither Is A Global Pandemic
I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of wearing a mask.
It’s cumbersome, sometimes hard to breathe, and it feels weird to have to wear a mask in public places.
But I still wear one when I go grocery shopping. I still wear one when I have to be at work. I still wear one if I absolutely must go out. I don’t like it, yet I still do it. I’m sorry if that offends and/or triggers some of you, but I just don’t see what the big deal is. Like, why do you have to be an asshole about it?
Now before you start attacking me as someone supporting a conspiracy, encouraging fear-mongering or drinking the mainstream media kool-aide, let me just for a moment allow me to share my perspective as to where I’m coming from. Cool?
Those of you who know me, who’ve read my stories about traveling around Egypt, traveling around to various work-exchanges or compiling poetry I wrote on drugs into a book know that I follow my own path with my own drum (usually bongos). Those of you who’ve read my poetry, especially my first book of self-published poems know that a majority of stuff I write is to uplift and inspire. Those of you who know me know that I have long cherished and promoted the fact that people are free to speak their mind and engage in self-expression. And yet I still wear a mask like some might call “a sheeple.”
I’ve asked myself this question a lot recently. The funny thing is that the response from my mind almost immediately comes back as the same answer, “For those around you.” Yes, even you and others against the mask. I do it so the goddess love of my life doesn’t potentially catch it. I do it so her sister’s children don’t potentially catch it. I do it so the good people at my work who help the hard of hearing don’t catch it.
I’m sorry if empathy and common sense upset whatever narrative you’ve built up in your brain. I’m sorry if the memes you share don’t match up with the facts I’ve read. I’m sorry if by posting criticisms about pseudo-documentaries and other out there “independent journalism” has harshed your mellow or chi. I guess I just thought a bunch of my friends and family were smarter and not emotionally stunted children wearing an adult costume.
Please note, that’s not a knock against stupid people. I’m all for being stupid and contrarian in low stakes events, like choosing coffee, sports debates or I even suppose flat-earth (ugh). That monologue at the end of the movie “The World’s End” is a banger! I totally get that freedom of speech is also freedom to say dumb shit.
But the problem is that, and I might be completely off base here, but I feel like a global pandemic isn’t necessarily a low stakes endeavor to be stupid about. People are actually dying, often without loved ones by their side, which is fucking heartbreaking.
And no, I don’t care about whatever numbers you have about how the coronavirus is the same as or less than the flu. That argument is fucking stupid because A) even if it was a little flu, if one were to add coronavirus cases to the actual flu cases that number would be startling. B) If we don’t add coronavirus cases to the flu and just count it as a separate thing, then an additional 484,000 people (and counting) are dying worldwide in addition to the flu. In addition to car accidents. In addition to drowning. In addition to whatever metric you want to measure up against, it is still an additional amount of people dying, often without loved ones by their side, which is fucking heartbreaking.
That’s why I wear a mask, because I don’t want to potentially put anyone in a position where they might die, probably alone in a hospital bed. I’ve read about the after effects of those who have recovered from the coronavirus, how it can do major damage to people’s lungs and hearts, among other major lingering effects. I’ve even read about some people catching coronavirus more than once. This is real. It’s happening. People are dying, often without loved ones by their side, which is fucking heartbreaking.
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I’m sorry if you feel like you can’t breath. It feels funny to me too sometimes. Don’t worry though, I’m not going to try and sway you with facts. Instead all I’ll say is that maybe there is a larger issue at play with your body or mind. Claustrophobia and/or anxiety can often make people feel like they can’t breathe. But the masks themselves are not harmful.
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And no, I don’t care if you feel like wearing a mask is infringing on your personal freedom. Grow the fuck up. Seriously. I’m sorry if it’s an inconvenience for you. It’s an inconvenience for me too. As I said, I don’t like wearing the mask either. But I do.
Please don’t misconstrue my advocacy for mask wearing as an attempt to normalize it. In no way do I want “the new normal” to be wearing n95 masks or other face coverings. I can promise you nobody wants this to be normal. This is not normal. These are not normal times. You have every right to be confused and frustrated by what’s going on in the world. But you don’t have to be an asshole about it like some people.
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As I’ve said, nobody likes wearing these dumb masks. But when you’re an asshole about it it makes the whole situation even worse. I don’t know how I can explain or show you that I’m wearing a mask because I care about those around me and NOT because I am trying to make a political statement or because I am against the current president of the United States. I don’t give a shit what the president says, he is the furthest person from my mind when I am donning a mask to go into public. This isn’t some irrational fear that some from one political party would have you believe. You may disagree, but I’m not wearing a mask out of fear.
And again, I totally understand about the masks being uncomfortable. I can’t stress enough that I don’t enjoy wearing them either. But here’s the thing, by not wearing them, we are doomed to repeat blunders of the past. Read up on the second wave of the Spanish Flu. Hell, read up on what’s happening in Texas or Florida in the last few weeks. What’s so hard about learning from history?
Please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. I’m not advocating for masks to be worn 24 hours a day or in your own home, just when out in public or in a group. What’s so hard about that? Yes, I agree it’s still an inconvenience, but at least there’s potential to slow the spread and have less people die, often alone, which is a much more heartbreaking alternative.
Brycical is by no means a sociologist or a medical expert. He doesn’t even hold a degree in political science or medicine. But still, like many people, Brycical isn’t immune to noticing certain patterns about how the world apparently “works” for some. So Brycical writes about it, hoping more will notice these patterns, get inspired and perhaps feel inclined to also speak up. Feel free to read more of the patterns Brycical notices on here or check out his website to learn more about him.