You know what?
I am pissed.
And now I’m going to rant.
Two Facebook groups were started on the same day – in the early days of the virus – ostensibly to provide information and support for our community members during this time of sickness and fear and mixed messages coming down from the top.
In one group, seemingly comprised primarily of Christian Conservatives, a post about exercising our constitutional rights by not wearing masks prompted one group member to state that she felt safer sporting face covering and she wished that everyone would wear one.
She was verbally bludgeoned.
The group administrator got really ugly and several others followed suit.
It prompted me to leave the group, with a statement on the page about why. I said, “I am leaving because I wanted to be a part of a group that is helping our community.”
I followed with, “Getting ugly and judgmental isn’t helping anyone in our County.”
I was taunted, called names, and told “good riddance.”
I was holding out hope for the other group to be a little bit more open-minded and compassionate and NEUTRAL.
Well, that went right out the window this morning.
“Dumbass. Moron. Idiot.”
“Go home to your shithole state.”
“Panty waist liberals have no place here”
what the fuck people?????????
I want one person, one, to tell me what good could possibly come out of any of the above comments. How is this possibly helping our old, our sick, our babies, our HEALTHCARE WORKERS?
Sure, I wear a mask to protect myself. I’m selfish that way.
But more importantly, I wear a mask for you.
My son is asthmatic. He has the potential to run into serious trouble if he catches this virus.
I wear a mask for him.
Another friend, who I like to visit, has cancer. I panic at the thought of infecting her unknowingly.
I wear a mask for her.
My mother is 81, lives alone, is freshly widowed and thanks to a bout with lung cancer has only half of one lung.
I hope that every single person in her town wears a fucking mask because I don’t want my mother to die. Alone. Due to someone else’s need to “not be controlled.”
I wear a mask for everyone’s mother.
TAM and I are quarantining together – we are exposing each other to everything that we encounter. He has children. It’s my responsibility to protect him.
I wear a mask for him. For his children.
I wear a mask for the gal at the market who goes home to a very compromised husband. She has to change her clothes in the garage before she can even enter her own home after a day at work.
I wear a mask for my co-workers who are doing their very best to safely provide food and support for so many who are dependent on this little grocery store. While I have been safely isolated, they are dealing with the public 7 days a week, so that you can eat.
I wear a mask for the pregnant woman who is already terrified of bringing her unborn baby into this upside-down toxic world.
You get the picture.
The picture of me with a mask on my face.
I know that no matter what I say, or anyone else says, that plenty of people give we “fearful and paranoid victims of fake news and conspiracies” the middle finger.
Sure, sometimes I wonder if it is all blown out of proportion. But then I think, “Who am I to say?”
Not a doctor. Not a scientist.
Not a constitutionalist either.
So I am clearly in no position to make this call.
99% of us are in no position to make this call.
Really, anyone who is questioning the veracity of the science, who is neither a scientist nor a medical doctor, is out of their fucking minds.
Seriously, think about it, all of us who barely passed Biology 101, are trying to out-science the scientists.
This is not about your constitutional rights. This is about the health and well being of not only your own community but…
The entire planet.
Can you grasp that?
The health of both the earth itself and every single human being alive is in your hands. Do you get that?
WE can make a difference in what happens to people just like us, mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, nurses, factory workers, teachers.
This is not about “being an American,” this is about being a global citizen.
One of the comments on this morning’s news feed asked about the “ethnicity” of those infected and dying?
Now we are making this a racism issue. So we don’t care about the Chinese (well they started this so why should we be concerned there?) or the Italians (pronounced eye-talian in this bigoted conversation). Does it matter what the brown people in Africa are experiencing?
And no question, in this border town right on the edge of the Navajo Nation, that a mention of ethnicity is pointed directly at our suffering neighbors who have been hit harder than anywhere else in our four corners.
I had someone tell me in the grocery store that she wishes “they” wouldn’t come here to shop – so that she can go mask-free.
Maybe we could have brown people hours and white people hours.
Makes me want to move to Shiprock.
I want to hurl. I am so angry.
And so disappointed in my community.
This is a community of people who pride themselves on being good neighbors and helping each other in times of need. Not wearing masks probably isn’t helping.
Chance are, wearing one is helping. At least there’s a chance of it being beneficial to self and others, while we know for certain that no face protection helps no one.
Sure, they’re uncomfortable. And annoying.
But if I choose to wear one, that’s my choice. Just like some folks are making the choice to not wear one (based on the constitution and personal preference, not on the scientific information that we all have access to.)
Don’t fucking ride my ass if I err on the side of caution
I want to walk away from this global pandemic knowing that I did everything I could to keep safe my children, my mother, my sick friends, someone else’s grandmother or husband or child. If I needlessly wear a mask for a while, so be it.
It’s none of your business. I am not hurting you. I am not violating your constitutional rights. I am not going to get you sick, that’s for sure.
The maskless can’t say the same thing about not affecting me.
So, if you are making the decision to put me, the compromised husband, a newborn baby, a nurse or grocery store employee, at risk, go ahead and do that.
If your conscience allows.
But do not give me shit about it.
It has taken everything in me to not respond to each and every cruel and immature comment that I have seen on Facebook (including some of those whose words are coming through layers of folded cloth and coffee filters.) But I refuse to get involved in debates with people behaving poorly in inappropriate forums.
I know that trying to convince anyone on either side of the debate is fruitless at this point. Not my purpose here, although it would be nice if my ranting gives at least one bare-faced community member pause for thought. I’m stating my opinion, but I am not holding out hope that I’m going to change anyone’s mind.
My point is this:
Shut. The Fuck. up.
Don’t be ugly.
If you want to be catty and condescending and critical and cruel, go ahead. But I certainly don’t want to hear it.
Do they make masks that cover the ears?