I am so tired of hearing people’s made-up excuses to not wear masks. I’m not talking about people with severe mental health conditions or sensory issues. I understand that there are conditions that make wearing a face-covering extremely difficult or even impossible. Those people are not the reason the USA is currently #1 for COVID-19 cases. I’m talking about the people who are capable of wearing one and simply refuse to do so. Below are some of the excuses I’ve heard along with my response.
1. “It’s Just a Cold.”
“Just a cold” for you is not necessarily the same for anyone else. When I catch a cold, I wind up needing to take corticosteroids and antibiotics for a co-infection EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. A cold for me means being sick for weeks. So catching a “cold” my body doesn’t recognize could mean severe illness or even death. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you don’t know me and don’t care about how a cold affects me. That’s fair, but I can almost guarantee that you know someone who is immunocompromised or chronically ill even if you don’t realize it. We are experts at hiding our illnesses and generally don’t go around broadcasting them to everyone we meet. (Unless it becomes a necessity… Like now.)
2. “It inhibits my breathing.“
It doesn’t. I’ve had to wear a mask in a hospital while I was having an asthma attack and it did nothing to change my oxygen levels. This isn’t even an excuse. It’s just a flat out lie.
3. “I’m healthy. I don’t have to worry about it.“
Not true. One of the reasons people die from this disease is because your immune system overreacts to something it hasn’t seen before. It’s called a Cytokine Storm. This can happen whether you’re generally healthy or not. Even if that weren’t true, you should care enough about other living, breathing, human beings to wear a mask and protect them.
4. “You can’t tell me what to do.”
Correct. Do you know who else thinks this way? My three-year-old. She wears her mask.
5. “I don’t want to live my life in fear.”
This one may be the worst of the made-up, bullshit excuses. I have multiple autoimmune diseases. My doctors prescribe medications to make them less damaging and give me a better quality of life. Am I living in fear because I take these medications? No. I’m accepting that evidence has shown they will limit the amount of havoc my diseases can wreak on my body. Are you living in fear because you wear a mask? No. You’re accepting that evidence shows a mask will limit the number of people who get sick and die from a horrible disease. You’re showing the world that you care about something other than yourself.
We are asked to wear masks because evidence (AKA: facts. Not someone’s made up opinion) has shown that it helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. That’s it. There is no conspiracy. No one is trying to take away our freedoms. We are just being asked to care about others. So wear your (pardon my language) fucking mask.