Why did it take me till July 30 to write the Crime of the Month? It’s not hard to find crime. Look to your left. Look to your right. Look at Portland. Look out for the tear gas, the rubber bullets, look out for crimes against humanity, for crimes against democracy. So many, many crimes. No wonder Seattle, Chicago, Kansas City, Albuquerque, and Washington are joining Portland in asking Congress to make it illegal to for federal troops to occupy their cities.
But that’s not July’s Crime of the Month, as far as I’m concerned. The Crime of the Month is some people’s selfish, stubborn insistence on putting their own comfort level—and that’s all it is, comfort—above the safety of others and not wearing a mask. People who refuse to wear masks are maskholes. Don’t be a maskhole.
No one is saying that breathing through a mask isn’t unpleasant. But the experts agree that breathing through a mask doesn’t hurt the person wearing the mask. That a mask can be harmful to the wearer is lie of convenience for those who are stubborn and selfish, and there are many iterations of that lie.
Some of the lies about masks are more ridiculous than others, like Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, who tested positive for COVID-19, claiming that the virus was on his mask and by wearing the mask, he breathed it in. No, stupid. You breathed it in because you weren’t wearing a mask, and neither was someone near you who had the virus who also wasn’t wearing a mask. I feel sorry for anyone who believes him. It’s pathetic.
It’s curious to watch the people caught on video who claim to have a health condition that precludes them from wearing a mask (because of breathing issues? uh-huh, right) yell, scream, rant, and rave like lunatics. It’s pretty awful, watching people make a spectacle of themselves that way. They surrender their dignity with such gusto—and over what? Being a little hotter than they would be otherwise? Because they think they’re more important than other people?
And if you do wear a mask but you uncover your nose, take that damn thing off and stop pretending. You look like a fool.
It’s not comfortable to wear a life jacket. Seat belts can be a pain. People who participate in sports wear all manner of protective gear. But we wear those things to protect ourselves. If you choose not to wear a life jacket or a seat belt, go on with your bad self. But wearing a mask is for other people. Other people, other people, other people, other people, other people. Not you!
Wearing a mask doesn’t make you weak, it makes you strong, it makes you a good citizen, and it can save lives.
What would it take to convince maskholes this is true?
Everyone in the medical field from doctors, nurses, techs, and EMTs to hospital cafeteria workers and sanitation staff wears PPE that’s much more restrictive than a simple piece of cloth over the bottom half of the face. They wear PPE through long, weary hours because they understand how viruses work and what death looks like. How can it be that so many American adults still refuse to even try to understand the importance of this?
I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here. I doubt regular readers of The Gloria Sirens are among those who refuse to wear masks for their fellow citizens. And even if maskholes are reading this, I know I won’t change their minds. They haven’t been reasoned into this position, and they won’t be reasoned out of it. (I’m sorry for the name-calling, but only because there are maskholes out there who have earned this ridicule.)
I’m writing this because sometimes we must bear witness to the injustices we see.
I know the only thing I can do about this that will really matter is to wear a mask myself and not be part of the problem. And I damn well do wear a damn mask. Thank you, everyone else who does, too. You’re good Americans. You should be proud.