Reality punched us in the gut, but that doesn’t mean that we need to turn on each other. People definitely don’t need to scream that you’re going to call the police if someone’s not wearing a mask. Just move away from the person. Outright cruelty is not the answer to our problems right now.
Today a man wearing a mask at a gas station was screaming at my mother that he was going to call the police because she wasn’t wearing a mask. His outburst isn’t just related to coronavirus hysteria but also the mandate announced by Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez requiring people to wear masks when visiting some public places.
While the mayor may be attempting to help people stay safe, he’s also increasing the conflicts that are erupting everywhere. Anyone who’s visited the grocery store or even taken a walk lately knows this. Everyone is tense and everyone feels a sense of dread about our current situation.
Mask Mandate Causes Chaos
Meanwhile, people like my mother are being attacked by people who are blinded by fear. As the man kept getting closer and closer to her so that he was less than a foot away. My mother, who’s also a nurse and normally never raises her voice, told him to back off. In fact, she told him he was too close and needed to move away.
The man moved but kept screaming as my mother got her gas as quickly as she could. Luckily, another man asked her if she was being harassed and needed help. Just that simple act helped her feel safer. She thanked him but didn’t want any more problems so she hurried and left.
When she visited me she was shocked at the sheer stupidity of people. She saw masks being pushed on the top of a person’s head, pulled down onto their necks, hanging off car mirrors, even hanging on purses, and being reused.
The CDC has instructions illustrating how to wear and handle a mask. If people take off a mask the wrong way, they might as well not even wear one because they could be contaminating themselves instead of protecting themselves.
Masks are Only One Precaution
A pediatrician who wrote about Covid-19 myths and facts, Dr. Garima Garg Seth, stated in a recent post, “Wearing medical masks when not indicated may cause unnecessary cost, procurement burden and create a false sense of security that can lead to neglecting other essential measures such as hand hygiene practices. Furthermore, using a mask incorrectly may hamper its effectiveness to reduce the risk of transmission.”
On my last food run, I was required to cover my face. I tried the mask and almost hyperventilated. I got so dizzy I almost fainted, so I wore a scarf instead. I know that we’re all running scared and trying to take precautions, but it’s devastating to watch people attack each other.
Love Lasts Longer Than a Virus
My mother, who’s also a nurse and the absolute cleanest person on earth, taught me to wash my hands all the time and wipe down anything that I’m going to use before I use it, including desks, keyboards, and phones. You name it. I wipe it off before I touch it.
That’s why it was so ironic to me that a man was screaming at my mother like that. Panic never helps. It’s the kind of fear that suffocates a society, similar to what the coronavirus does to the body.
When we lose our grip on what makes us human, we lose our grip on reality. Our realities become a scene from a horror film instead of a time and space for us to learn and love. As hard as it may seem, we need to change this reality because love lasts longer than a virus.