Why I Mask
Why I Mask
Fri, 12/04/2020 – 20:20
Masks are useless as well as uncomfortable. I believe they actually increase the odds of the wearer coming down with a case of COVID infection. They make it hard to have intelligible conversations and hide what few smiles people may still be having. Yet I do mask.
Maybe I’m just a coward, afraid to stand against the overbearing government. As noble and even important as such a stand would be, I value more my ability to be self-reliant. In a modern world, in an urban environment such as the one in which I live, this is at best an illusion. I’m not growing my own food or hauling water and firewood. Maybe that’s practical and even essential if you have raw land that you’re homesteading. It’s pretty much impossible for most city-dwellers. There just isn’t enough land to support us, and there are many rules about what you can do with whatever space you have.
Don’t suggest everybody move to the countryside. That would just destroy the countryside.
I live in an apartment. I pay rent, buy food at stores, work in an office. My self-reliance consists of paying the bills myself and doing the chores myself. I know I’m no “mountain man.” The local health department has required stores to demand that customers wear masks while shopping. I don’t know how zealously the stores enforce the rules. Perhaps their business licenses depend on a high level of compliance. I wear the mask and try to limit myself to buying essentials only — no impulse purchases. It doesn’t fight the edicts, but it limits the time I spend in the mask.
My office also has rules requiring masks to be worn. Without income, I don’t have even a semblance of self-reliance. Would I starve to death before I’d shop in a mask? Obviously not. If you would, perhaps you will forgive me for not sharing your dedication. Infringements on liberty start small and grow over time. While this is not the hill I choose to die on, I acknowledge your right to make your own choice.
Heroism is often associated with high risk of imminent death — charging into a burning building, for example, or standing in front of a tank that you know is not going to swerve. There are “everyday heroes” (AKA people) who get up every morning and try to get through another day without a disaster. There are so-called “heroes” (AKA “delivery drivers”) who bring things to our homes so we can remain in social as well as physical quarantine. I don’t claim to be any sort of hero.
I wear a mask because it’s required in order to maintain an acceptable level of life. I expect that this is what residents of communist countries tell themselves as they submit to every new rule. Thoreau said we have the worst government we are willing to endure, and he was right. Many opinionators rail against the way government is behaving, but no one calls for violence. Too soon? Too late? Or is it all just opinionators making money off claiming that the world is headed for communism? Maybe it’s a problem they don’t really want solved, since then they would need to find a “real job.”
My country is being destroyed, and I don’t see how to save it, but I still feel as though I should do something. Perhaps in the end, the real reason I wear a mask is shame.
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