The Mask of Shame

Saturday, August 29, 2020

By Pam Porvaznik

To mask or not...that is the question, and something that’s causing angst and consternation throughout the country.

Those that believe in wearing the mask tend to shame those who don’t; those that disdain wearing the mask tend to balk if made to wear one. I am of the latter. I hate the mask, think it does no good unless you’re sick and don’t want to spread germs. It means you’re breathing bacteria (if you’re not washing the mask daily) and breathing in your own carbon dioxide, which actually can be dangerous. Besides it’s grotesque. It keeps people more isolated than they already are during this never-ending Coronavirus pandemic that not even the experts can seem to get a handle on.

The revered Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and a physician and immunologist who is a key player on President Trump’s White House Coronavirus (Covid 19) pandemic task force, flip-flops over the mask issue.

One day he says it’s important that everyone wear one, the next day, he says only the sick should wear one. So ,which is it? Does anyone really know?  One of my friends thinks she knows.  “It’s science,” she screams. Oh, so now my friend who is a retired math teacher is now a scientist. (Sheesh( To her credit, she’s actually recently changed her mind about the subject. When the virus first hit, she was the first to put on a mask, Clorox her apartment kitchen counters and door knobs until they gleamed, wear gloves going up and down the elevator (God forbid fingers might touch a button with Covid lingering on it!) and require guests to take off their shoes and put on booties when they entered her place.

When friends refused to come over to visit because of the bootie edict, that turned the tide. Now my friend no longer wears the mask, the booties have gone the way of all trash and she’s relaxed into reverting back to her old loveable, albeit slovenly self.

One thing about the mask, it’s brought out a new faction of “mask police” among the populace. Everyone that wears one when they see that I don’t comes sidling up and asks one of three questions: “Why won’t you wear the mask? Are you stubborn?” OR “When did you get COPD?” I, of course, don’t have COPD or Emphysema or Asthma or any lung or bronchial issues, but I do have allergies and sinusitis and I just prefer to breathe good, fresh air. The third question, now this is a big one: “Don’t you care about others?” It’s amazing. Everyone who once was an expert on the Russian investigation is now an expert on Covid 19...and they’ve suddenly become compassionate! Go figure.

One of the biggest places I’ve found to be shamed is at Sunday Mass. I’ve had little, old ladies jump from their pews when I’ve come into a pew in front of them without a mask. I’ve watched people run to the outer side of a sidewalk when I’ve entered Church without one. People are scared...make that terrified. The most pathetic is watching the priests at Mass disinfect their hands over and over and mask up before giving Holy Communion, then drop the Host in waiting hands so not to actually touch a parishioner. It’s terribly sad to observe and implies a deep spiritual weakness as far as I’m concerned. People afraid of living for fear of dying.

I’m inclined to believe Christ wouldn’t hide behind a mask. He was among the lepers and the diseased, curing as many as came to him. Nope, I just can’t buy into anything so ridiculous. But that’s me and I don’t begrudge anyone wearing a mask. As far as I’m concerned people can wear the mask forever, wear it to shower, wear it to make love, wear it till the cows come home. Just give me the same courtesy when I choose not to wear one.

If you’re that afraid of getting sick, or even worse, then stay home. Sequester. That mask may make you feel confident that you won’t get the Covid. But will it?  That virus is so small, it can go thru a mask, and actually go through your eyes.

So that’s my experience and rant about the mask of shame. Do you wear one?

For further reading on this topic, I suggest: COVID-19  Groupthink: The Politicization of Pandemic Hysteria.