Mask up, but I don't like it
I’ll admit it. I’m not real crazy about wearing my protective mask, but if anything, it’s probably all for selfish reasons.
I’m not one to start any sort of controversy over adapting to Minnesota’s new mask order, which took effect on Saturday. Basically, if you’re out in public, you need to mask up or else.
In fairness of transparency, this doesn’t have anything to do with either political party. I do not identify with either the Republican or Democratic Party. Both parties have their good sides and not so good sides. I’ll leave it at that.
I totally understand the science behind wearing a mask. Scientists say masks could help stop the coronavirus. Confusing government advice at the start of the pandemic and cultural misgivings may have limited the acceptance by many to masking up. If we can slow down the spread of COVID-19, we should all over it.
My first experience of wearing a mask came about a month ago when I went to church. I must say I felt pretty lonely sitting in church with a mask and not really being able to communicate with others. The lack of hugs and handshakes had me wondering what happened to my friendly church. Not being able to sing was also a shock to the system.
In the days since the order came down to mask up all the time, I have again been reminded why I don’t like wearing it. When I pull up to a store, I find myself looking out the rearview mirror, checking my surroundings (it’s that old cop instinct in me) and putting on the mask. I feel like I’m getting ready to rob a bank or something. I’m just waiting for the police to come down with guns ablazin’ telling me to give it up.
Seriously, once I get into a store I’m fine as I see others doing exactly what we’re being told to do: mask up! Then I walk around wondering if anyone can recognize me or not. It’s interesting how this whole COVID-19 has thrown everyone into a tizzy with more and more people lacking eye contact and just going about their routine like you don’t even exist.
I have been wearing a nice mask created by one of the wonderful ladies at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Owatonna. I look pretty trendy, if I should say so myself. So I guess fashion isn’t a problem.
As I maneuver my way around with mask in place, I feel like my oxygen supply has been cut off. It gets a little too comfy—and tight— behind the mask. It gets a little steamy back there. And who needs more steam when the humidity outside is in the 80% or higher range like it has been over the past week.
When social distancing cannot be achieved, a mask will reduce the number of droplets that can escape into the air. That alone will reduce the load level of COVID-19 being expelled if the person who is infected is wearing a mask.
Will it stop completely? Absolutely not. If there is one thing I have learned in recent years, there is nothing in this world that’s 100%. Wearing a seat belt is not going to guarantee we will survive a car crash, yet we buckle up every day because we realize our chances are far greater of surviving with it on.
With feelings of helplessness when it comes to the virus, this is a rare chance for us to have some control over the destiny of forging a change in the course of this disease and possibly save another person’s life along the way.
While I don’t like wearing a mask, I’m all about going in hot pursuit of doing what needs to be done to get through this battle of the coronavirus that has whipped us around like nothing has ever before.