It’s such a small ask – wear a mask!
So say the bulletin boards along the road. So says every consolidated media outlet. So says the Hair Plugged Man. I figured it’s time to say something in reply, for the same reason that Jefferson ticked off all the reasons why the American colonies tired of being yoked to the British Empire and wanted to cut the cord. The reasons weren’t trivial or transitory – and a decent respect for the opinions of mankind required that they be laid out publicly.
Similarly, the following are the reasons why “wearing a mask” is not a “small ask” –
In the first place, it is a tell.
You are demanding we wear the thing. All over this country, people are being denied access to stores and restaurants and threatened with the loss of their jobs if they do not submit to your oilily tyrannical “ask,” which is of a piece with the government “asking” people to pay taxes.
The effrontery of the verbiage is itself sufficiently obnoxious all by itself to reject the “ask.”
In the second place, you are demanding we pretend to agree that everyone is sick or might be – or could get – sick. That we make it appear we share your fear-based assertions about a sickness so actually unthreatening to most people as to be comparable to childish assertions about the bogeyman.
You demand we wear your specified garment, as the visual sign of our coerced “agreement” with these assertions. You are demanding we surrender our own judgment in deference to yours.
This is intolerable.
We are not sick, first of all – and your overwrought fear that we might be imposes no obligation upon us to accommodate your fears.
It is also incredibly insulting to be treated as presumptively sick, with the implication that we’re not only disease-carriers but also disease-spreaders. That we are a threat – based on nothing more than your feelings.
It is not unlike being treated like a thief when we haven’t stolen anything. Or a mass-shooter when we haven’t shot anyone.
We do not share your fear of getting sick – based on the fact that the risk for us is objectively very slight and the risk of becoming seriously sick even more remote.
But just in case! Because it might save a life!
This is a recipe for the death of life. Your weaponized dread of risk makes living impossible.
And we want to live.
Where does it end? How do you draw the line?
The answer is, you won’t. You even say so. You call it the “new normal” – a sick future of weaponized hysteria, of pathologized aversion to risk untempered by facts. Of mass submission to whatever the masses are told they must submit to.
A “mask” is also not a respirator.
It is a mask. Literally. In the manner of a Halloween mask, except genuinely horrible and not for fun.
Its function isn’t medical. It is ritual gear meant to hide the face of the wearer; to efface his individuality. To make him look like everyone else whose face no one can see. It is a muzzle. A visual representation of your voice, your will – yourself – being stifled. For this purpose, a dirty old bandana, neck scarf or a literal diaper qualifies as a “mask,” because they hide the wearer’s face and suppress any visual evidence of dissent.
If these “masks” do serve a medically useful purpose then so long as you wear yours, you have nothing to worry about.
So why are you worried about whether other people wear one?
Could it be because you can’t stand the idea of anyone giving visual evidence of not agreeing with your faith?
Which you are welcome to.
We are merely asking that you leave us free to not partake of it. We are not asking you to alter your life in any way to accommodate us. You are free to “mask” – or not. Free to patronize stores and other establishments that have a “mask” policy – or not.
But we will not accept being forced to pretend we are sick by being compelled to act out a ritual based on your fears. And above all, we will not permit you to get away with pretending you are asking.
. . .
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