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Something else about masks …
I promise I’ll shut up about masks …
We went to our neighboring city’s Wal-Mart last night, (we go grocery shopping every Friday night after we eat – it’s one of our “date” nights – I know, we are ANIMALS), and it was so nice to see nearly everyone without a mask. It seemed so normal! It was nice to see people’s faces again.
Then, today, I went to my local Wal-Mart to grab some chocolate, (don’t judge), some Wheat Thins, (I’m OBSESSED with them right now), and some darker foundation, (because it’s summer and I tan very easily), and nearly everyone was wearing a mask!
*cue sad, dramatic music*
Kevin and I are having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that we live in a liberal city. In fact, let me prove it:
Do you see that one white spot?
Yeah, that’s where we live and it’s the ONLY county in the ENTIRE state of Missouri that has NOT entirely lifted restrictions. Really? Really?!? What the actual hell? We’ve been in denial for a long time and it’s time for a reality check – we are surrounded by liberals. And the frustrating part, (among many), is that we had an opportunity to vote these mo-fos out of office but did we?? Nope. Why? Because most people are not paying attention to what’s going on around them and didn’t even bother to vote!
*deep breath* Anyway, Kevin and I refuse to wear a mask and people can just bite my butt because WE ARE OVER THIS PANDEMIC CRAP. It’s over. Accept it!
However, it got me thinking as to why people still choose to wear a mask and I’m betting the reasons go way beyond COVID. And this article caught my eye:
A number of women have come forth asserting they would prefer to keep wearing masks, even after the general public has discarded them, with some of the women offering explanations such as a mask functions as an “invisibility cloak” or acts “almost like taking away the male gaze.”
I found this fascinating. It never really occurred to me that people would WANT to continue wearing masks for reasons outside of COVID. But it makes sense to me. Masks hide your identity, they, in essence, make you invisible to people. Some of the reasons given in this article:
“I don’t want to feel the pressure of smiling at people to make sure everyone knows I’m ‘friendly’ and ‘likable.’ It’s almost like taking away the male gaze. There’s freedom in taking that power back.”
I can definitely relate to this reason. There are days the last thing I want to do is smile at people, or put on my happy face. People are exhausting, especially when you work with the public. You have to pretend so much when you’re around people, the good and the bad, and it gets old having to pretend something you’re not all the time. It’s also a great way to disguise my expressions because sometimes, I listen to patients and it’s all I can do not to grimace or frown, or whatever, and wearing a mask helps to hide my true feelings. My face is very expressive, (so I’ve been told), and I have a MEAN resting bitch face, the mask is great for covering that up.
I’m not sure what this commenter is saying about the “man gaze.” Does she mean the look that men give you when they think you’re attractive? As a woman, I understand that look and I agree, I don’t necessarily like it, but I would rather endure that look than continue to wear a face diaper.
“Maybe it’s because I’m a New Yorker or maybe it’s because I always feel like I have to present my best self to the world, but it has been such a relief to feel anonymous. It’s like having a force field around me that says ‘don’t see me.’”
I don’t know what being a New Yorker has to do with this comment but I agree, masks were a way to make you anonymous to the world. You blended in and in a lot ways, it did make you feel a bit invisible. I can relate to this sentiment because when I’m out in public, on my own time, doing my thing, I want to be left alone. I’m on a mission, to get what I need, or do what I need to do, and leave. Blending in was a perfect way for me to remain under the radar and not draw attention to myself.
“I just stare at that little box with my face in it and pick apart my appearance. My double chin seems six times larger, my eye bags are too deep of a purple, etc … Even when there’s a heatwave and my apartment is close to 90 degrees, I’ll wear a turtleneck that I can pull up. I pack on thick makeup that makes my skin peel. I 10,000% plan on wearing it for the foreseeable future. After a full work day of worrying and not being able to focus on my actual job, it just feels nice to blend in. Simply put, I’m sick of being perceived.”
This comment just makes me sad. I feel bad that people are so self-conscious about how they look that they would prefer to wear a face diaper than allow people to see them. I’m sorry some people feel this way, however, that’s even more of a reason to get out there and live your life instead of hiding from it. Take control, do something about those insecurities, whether that’s make different lifestyle choices or seek therapy – no one should want to wear a mask simply to hide physical imperfections.
I’ll never forget the first time we were FORCED to wear a mask. It was a trip to Wal-Mart shortly after this pandemic started and they wouldn’t allow you to come in without one. I was so furious the entire trip that by the time we got back out to our car, my heart rate was 160! I felt faint and JUST PISSED OFF. To me, wearing a mask is dehumanizing and humiliating. It does something to your psyche, at least, it did to mine, and I furious that they were taking my right to choose away from me. To me, I was being forced to abide by someone else’s fears. It dented my fierce sense of independence and I was resentful as hell.
I, for one, FULLY EMBRACE the fact that we’re doing away with masks. If you want to continue wearing one, go ahead, but I will not be participating any more.
I choose to breathe freely. Always.
That seems to be the question that everyone is asking nowadays. No one has a definitive answer and honestly, it’s no one’s business what you do or if you’ve been vaccinated. You live your life, I’ll live my life. And if you’re vaccinated and you still wear a mask because you’re afraid of the non-vaccinated people, okay – go for it. I’m sorry you’re scared but if that’s how you want to live your life in response to the daily headlines that threaten a new strain and doom and gloom every day, go for it.
Me? I’m living my life as well. I choose NOT to vaccinate and NOT to wear a mask because I’m not afraid of a disease that has a 99% recovery rate. I’ll take my chances because the odds are very favorable that I’ll be just fine. But I don’t have comorbidities that would put me at risk so I feel comfortable with that decision.
See how this works? It all comes down to YOU and YOUR life and YOUR choices. No one can, (nor should), tell you how to respond to this pandemic that is clearly winding down, (thank GOD), nor how you should live your life – I answer to no one save God and my faith in God is strong and I believe He will look after and protect me and my family. If you don’t believe in God, then again, that’s your choice, you live your best life.
But now that the pandemic is over, (because let’s face it, it’s been over for a while but politics wouldn’t allow it to die), people are having trouble adjusting to “normal.” And THIS is precisely why I was so pissed off when the mask mandates first started. Firstly, it never made sense to me to wear a face diaper thereby trapping moisture from our breathing and then touching our masks trapping God knows what in the mask material and again, trapping it against our face so that we were breathing in germs we wouldn’t have normally been breathing in otherwise.
Secondly, I KNEW this would happen. How could it not?? People would get used to the mask and then the thought of taking it off, or seeing someone not wearing a mask “triggered” people’s fears that were bubbling just under the surface of their psyches and voila! Here we are. I didn’t want to create a new normal – I just want to live my life without the government, my co-workers, my neighbors, strangers, telling me what I should or should not do.
It doesn’t work that way. I shouldn’t be asked to work that way. We are free to make our own choices – good or bad. You are responsible for YOU, not for me, my family or anyone around you – ONLY YOU. You do what you need to do to live your life – if that means staying home and wearing your mask inside your home instead of getting out and breathing in fresh air thereby whisking away germs that would stick around in a non-circulated environment, who am I to judge?
And just as I will try not to judge you, I ask that you try not to judge me. Because again, my life decisions are none of your business.
And when I say YOU, I don’t mean YOU, dear reader, I mean people in general. (Though if you’re judging me and want to tell me how to live my life, then I guess I’m speaking to you as well).
I’m not writing this article to preach or bitch, but I’m setting this up to talk about a video that Rachel Maddow put out the other day.
Disclaimer: I despise Rachael Maddow. I think she’s seriously misguided and not very smart but I’m not bringing this up to insult her, I want to talk about what she said because it pains me to say it, but she has a point. Watch:
I’m referencing the bit with just Rachel but when I embedded the tweet, the first bit with wacko Walensky showed up so let’s talk about her bit for a second.
How can a rational, thinking person agree with Walensky? Think about the scenario she depicts for one second – a family gathering – everyone is there from great-grandma to the three-year old toddler playing with his/her toys. Everyone is having a grand time – every one is vaccinated and maskless – save for the kids under twelve. They are being forced to wear an uncomfortable mask, are having a hard time breathing and they see they are the only ones wearing a mask when the adults in their lives, the people they love and trust above all others, are not. Even after it’s been proven that COVD does not overly affect children they are being forced to wear a mask because the supposedly thinking, rational adults in their lives are afraid they will get a virus they have been vaccinated for – it’s insane and child abuse, in my opinion.
But again, if that’s what you feel you need to do for you and your family, go for it. It doesn’t matter what I think – it’s your life, your choice.
shove put wacko Walensky aside and focus on Rachel’s speech in the bottom part of that Twitter thread.
Notice how she’s genuinely surprised when she says “that people have personal feelings about it and I did too.” To me, this sounds like she doesn’t venture outside her protected bubble very much, meaning, she doesn’t take the time to talk to people in the real world, she doesn’t take the time to consider other people’s opinions. This goes back to what I’ve always said, it’s important to listen to the “other” side when it comes to controversial issues, well really, when it comes to any issue. I know this comes as a shock to some people, but YOUR opinion is not the ONLY opinion. When you act like a grown up and listen to other people as opposed to just automatically tuning people out who have a differing opinion than you, you soon realize that there is so much more to an issue than what you initially thought. Arrogant, self-righteous people have trouble with this part because for whatever reason, they think that what they think is not only right but the ONLY way to think and the thought of someone having a different opinion or disagreeing with them truly puzzles them.
It IS possible to have differing opinions. It IS possible to disagree with someone without thinking that person came from Satan.
And perhaps, hear me out, it’s possible, that what you think is not only not true, but could be wrong, or at least, not totally true. People who do not take the time to hear, or consider, other sides to an issue are arrogant and delusional. You are not right 100% of the time. I am not right 100% of the time – we all have opinions, we are all human and deserve to be heard. It’s sad to me that Rachel seems to just now be recognizing this.
But this is the part I think is the most important in what she says – she has to “rewire” herself.
“Part of it is that I am going to have to re-wire myself so that when I see somebody out the world not wearing a mask I don’t instantly think you are a threat. *awkward laugh* Or you are selfish. Or you are a COVID denier and you definitely haven’t been vaccinated. I mean we are going to have to re-wire the way we look at each other because of the CDC guidance because she just told me we are sure that if we are vaccinated we don’t need to wear a mask except in very specific circumstances and so that means as we change in the country we are going to look at each other differently and have to unwire our preconceptions about what a mask, or a lack of a mask, means.”
She goes on to quote Biden and Fauci and how “they are urging people to be patient, be compassionate, give people respect for whatever they decide on this front because with this changing guidance we are going to have changing norms and we’ve got to give each other space to have feelings about that as we go through what’s going to be a big change and change our visceral reactions in a lot of us just in our day-to-day” lives.”
Be patient and show compassions to our fellow human beings that DARE to think differently than us?!?
What a novel concept!
Gads, there is so much to unpack here in her speech … bear with me.
She’s right – People, myself included, need to re-wire our brains after the year we’ve just experienced. We have to stop automatically assume that people who are wearing, or not wearing, a mask either agree, or disagree, with our own personal views. Again, it’s not all about us, it’s about what YOU feel is necessary for YOUR life. It’s not my place to tell you what you can and can not do. In fact, if you want the truth, (when do you not get the truth), I feel sort of sorry for people who are out walking, outside, with no one around, wearing a mask because to me, they have fallen prey to the narrative that we should all be afraid of everything and everyone because of this disease that has a 99% recovery rate.
Again, if this disease had a 60%, just to pull a random number out of my butt, recovery rate, we could justify our fears. I shudder to think what our world would look like with a terrible disease with a low percentage of recovery because wow, think of the insanity, (think zombie apocalypses), but thank GOD COVID is not that disease.
Her awkward laugh is very telling to me. It’s almost like, she’s realizing, for the first time, that it’s possible to think outside herself. That the CDC had to give her permission to consider that perhaps her viewpoint on masks was bigger than her self-imposed beliefs. It’s almost like … she woke up or something. For her sake, I hope so.
I like to watch body language, facial expressions and listen to tonal inflections whenever people talk and to me, it looks like Rachel is coming to some realization – that she sees a crack of light behind a door that has been closed to her for quite some time. It gives me hope when I hear hard lefties talk like this, like maybe, just maybe, they see a crack in their matrix and on some level are conscious of a world outside their self-righteous ideologies.
But perhaps I’m being too optimistic.
The point is, even when I vehemently disagree with someone because they choose to take the road on the left and I choose to take the road on the right, it’s possible for me to listen to the other side and HEAR what they are saying instead of automatically dismissing or labeling them because of our differences.
I agree with Rachel, we ALL need to re-wire our brains, use common sense and live, and get on with, our lives. This past year has been crazy, stressful and telling as far as showcasing how fragile humanity can be. And I agree with Rachel – we need to be patient with one another, show compassion, ESPECIALLY with employees working retail, food, etc. because not only are businesses short handed, they are likely dealing with a lot of new people who don’t know what they’re doing and are desperately trying to learn.
Treat your fellow human beings, regardless of where they stand on this whole mask thing, with dignity. Just because they are living their lives differently does not give you permission to treat them with anything less than respect.
Sorry this post was so long but this issue has been weighing heavily on my heart and I wanted to document this point in time where, hopefully, things started to get back to normal.
At least until the next disaster.