He had to walk by a sign that said that those entering must cover their nose and mouth. You couldn’t miss it: it was right in front of the doors.
Illinois is back under a mask mandate because hospitalizations are rising and the Governor, prudently, is concerned about running out of ICU beds and beds for other sick and injured people, including children.
I put my mask on in the car, walked into the store, grabbed what I needed, found a checkout lane, and started unloading. As I waved my phone over the payment device to pay, the next guy gets in line.
He’s not wearing a mask.
“I have an extra mask if you need one,” I say, fishing one out of my purse.
He raises his eyebrows, and then smiles and says, with intentionally fake sincerity, “I have one in my pocket, thank you. God Bless You.”
And that’s when I didn’t say all the things I should have said.
So, Maskhole, I’ll get those things said now, even though I wish I had said them to your unmasked face. If I was more social media savvy, I would have made a video of an exchange that would have gone something like this:
“Why is the mask in your pocket and not on your face? Do you breathe through your hip? Really? You must be an alien! Cool. But seriously dude, you wouldn’t want to take this virus back to your home planet. I strongly recommend you put your mask on, over whatever orifices you breathe through.
Oh, you’re not an alien? So help me understand: why don’t the rules don’t apply to you? Do you have some kind of exemption? No? You just don’t care that you could infect a child under 12, who can’t get vaccinated yet, when you breathe all over said child with your smug, arrogant, unmasked face?
And when said child becomes gravely ill, maybe even dies?
May God have mercy on your soul.”
It feels good to get that off my chest, but it doesn’t actually do any good. The mask wars are now being played out in schools in states with Republican governors, including Arizona, Texas, and Florida, where politicians would rather let their citizens die than impose mask mandates.
In Arizona, Texas and Florida, governors have actually prohibited local school districts from requiring masks, and have threatened to or actually withheld funds from schools that require them. A Florida court struck down an order prohibiting masks, but in Hillsborough County, Florida, where parents were allowed to opt-out of a mask mandate, thousands of kids have been exposed and are quarantined, leaving school again just when they got back.
The worst part of it? Craven, self-serving politicians are using COVID as a political tool.
“Rather than work with him to vaccinate the country, Biden’s Republican opposition has, with only a few exceptions, done everything in its power to politicize vaccination and make refusal to cooperate a test of partisan loyalty. The party is, for all practical purposes, pro-Covid. If it’s sincere, it is monstrous. And if it’s not, it is an unbelievably cynical and nihilistic strategy. Unfortunately for both Biden and the country, it appears to be working.”Jamelle Bouie, New York Times Opinion, 8/31/21
At what point will rational people, who are willing to take simple measures like mask wearing to protect their fellow citizens from a deadly virus, rise up en masse and say we’ve had enough of this deadly, science-denying bullshit and require both masks and vaccinations? (follow that vaccination link for a wonderfully obscene rant against the unvaccinated).
Oh, that’s right – in states with Republican legislative majorities that represent a minority of their state got in power due to gerrymandering that reduced the voting power of people of color and pretty much anyone who doesn’t vote their way, legislatures have pushed through restrictive voting laws, also intended to suppress majorities that would vote those bastards out of office in a New York minute if their districts were fairly drawn, their votes counted, and their voices heard.
Those voter suppression laws include features designed to empower Republicans to overrule a legal, fair election: so these “lawmakers” are admitting that they will not accept the result of any election they lose.
I said I’d avoid politics in this blog – but this is less politics than survival: both for fellow citizens, regardless of politics, and for our democracy. I can’t face, or let Angelic Daughter be subjected to, a future where the whole country looks like Texas.
May God have mercy on us all.
Grateful that I live where I do, and hopeful my country can stave off a death spiral into authoritarianism, I remain,
Your anxious, bereaved, befuddled, and mask-wearing,