I believe in the individual.  We are all different.  Once you break us down into all the categories groupthink has created for us, we can be further broken down by infinite differences.  Our experiences, our beliefs, our dreams, are so much more influential and meaningful than our race, sex, lovers, and political persuasion.

  Another individual trait we all have is our response to ridiculous mask mandates.  On one end of the spectrum, we have Karen who wears an N-95 mask, a progressive messaging cloth mask, and a face shield, while driving a Prius, complete with a surgical mask taped to each vent (don’t tell her there are vents under the seat that she forgot about).  On the other extreme we have Kate.  Kate walks proudly into every store without a mask, and she is ready to fight.  Armed with the latest study proving masks do not work, every quote from Fauci where he contradicted himself, a medical exemption, a religious exemption, and a pocket constitution.  When these two ladies meet on an airplane, they always go viral.  

The rest of us are in the middle and almost no one is alike.  Let me share my lived experience and maybe we should include our mask identities in our pronouns from now on, simply to cure any misunderstanding and so we all know what team we are on. 

First, I have evolved.  In the beginning I hated masks but if I must wear one, I will wear a KN-95 because it’s just silly to wear a piece of paper or a piece of cloth, which needed no study to realize they are only for show.  Once I realized I could not breathe with a KN-95 (the most tangible evidence that it is working) I went to the crowd favorite, a designer piece of cotton, emblazoned with my company logo, and about as effective as using a shopping cart to deliver sand. 

I knew the mask does not work well, coupled with the fact that I could not smile or communicate and every time I talk, I would remove my mask so people could understand me.  I’ve since stopped with the charade and began going au natural full time.  I have a mask in my pocket. 

When I shop for essentials from an outlet I cannot replace, such as the post office or doctors’ office, I oblige when someone asks me to put it on.  If I am at a nonessential store, like a grocery store or clothing outlet, I will wear the mask if I’m asked nicely, but if you ask with the righteous indignation that the mask gestapo warrior typically uses, I will make a scene, educate all within earshot about how silly it is for barely legal children making a low hourly wage being asked to be the mask police by elders and politician three times their age. 

I am always given the gift of spotting a coworker not wearing their mask and my innate ability to quote every mask fact I have learned over the previous 3 years (I cannot remember anything else to save my life).  This usually results in the mask enforcer throwing some mud about how I don’t have the right to kill grandma.  I get the last word, pointing out how using this argument is evidence of their lack of logical debate ability and they hear my voice trail off with anecdotes from Nuremberg or HIPAA. 

Unfortunately, I always end up in my car upset, not at the ignorance, but of the ignorance.  Some of these people are truly scared to death.  A drowning victim will always pull someone else under in a futile attempt at saving themselves.  You cannot reason with someone when they are scared for their life.  This is a real symptom of the media disease.  Our government officials used to over-placate our fears, now they enflame them.  

Since I am relying on humanity to determine if I wear a mask in a store, I rarely comply because people are no longer kind, another symptom of the faceless mask interactions in which people no longer feel accountable to their participation in society.  If only Reagan or Kennedy or Cronkite or Jennings could whisper softly in their ear, “It’s all going to be alright.”  Until then allow me to placate and enflame; Covid will subside so feel at ease, but once liberty is lost, it is lost forever. 

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