Today, a short a rant about anti-masking, ignorance and bad manners. Recently, wearing masks filled the news, as it became compulsory in many places. I am bewildered at how some folks have reacted. There have been large protests, and violent clashes in businesses. It’s strange that such a simple precaution has some folks so riled up, a response way out of proportion to the issue.
Many businesses are now posting signs that say:
No Mask – No Service
Masking is a Little Inconvenient
Wearing a mask is slightly inconvenient. It takes about two-seconds to put on. While it is hot, it’s no more uncomfortable than wearing shoes, pants, and a shirt on a hot day.
These are things we accept as normal. As a teen, I recall signs that read:
No Shoes – No Service
In some businesses, we still see:
No Shirt – No Service
We wonder how anybody could be rude enough to go into a store or restaurant, without shoes or a shirt. And heaven forbid walking out in public with no pants.
Masking is Just Another Normal Restriction
We accept these restrictions, and in fact, demand them. We threaten to take our business somewhere else if the staff doesn’t deal with the offender.
Yet, some folks violently object to wearing a mask. They rely on really bad data they don’t understand and crazy conspiracies to excuse bad manners.
So, let me state openly, folks have every right to go maskless. But, they have to accept the restrictions imposed on them by their choice. Every choice we make opens one door but closes others. Exercising our right to go maskless doesn’t excuse us from the consequences. In fact, we have an obligation to put up with those consequences as part of the social contract.
Imposing Our Choices on Others
My beef is with folks making the choice for me, exposing me to risk to which I didn’t agree. In my experience, that makes us all really cranky. It’s really rude to make that decision for others, and we object to it.
I think the anger over masking is not about the bad data or the ridiculous conspiracy theories. I think it is about denial. Folks are fed up and scared. COVID-19 has disrupted our lives in ways we could never have imagined.
And it goes on and on. We want to ignore it all and pretend that life is back to normal. A mask is a visible and uncomfortable reminder that things are anything but normal.
Going Maskless Ignores Risk
As a risk professional, this scares me more than I care to say. We manage the risk we understand and are blind to risk we don’t. But the worst is the risk we do understand but choose to ignore.
Going maskless ignores risk and it can hurt those we love. With trivial effort, it’s avoidable. Even if we don’t believe masking is necessary, the precautionary principle says we should just do it. It can’t hurt, and it could help a lot.
Frighted people do dumb things. Ingoing rules about masking is foolish. It’s bad manners, coming from ignorance and a childish desire to bury our heads in the sand.
Masking – It’s An Easy Question
We need to be patient and understand where this comes from. But we have to be firm. These rules protect us all. If folks won’t wear a mask for their own safety, perhaps they should consider wearing one to protect those they love.
Wearing a mask is not a political statement, and does it prove we are cowards. It is simply as sign of respect, and caution in the face of a risk we don’t yet fully understand.
It’s an easy question. Is it right to put our friends, neighbours, and family in harm’s way? For me, the answer is crystal clear.