Common Courtesy

Today I’m going to talk about a subject that we are all sick and tired of hearing about, but I haven’t put my 2 cents in yet, so here goes….. Masks. First of all let me say that I hate wearing masks. They make my face itch, and they fog up my glasses, and if I have to wear one for an extended period of time I actually start feeling kind of claustrophobic. When the pandemic started I would not wear masks. I did socially distance, but I did not start wearing a mask until the governor of Alabama mandated it. I hate masks. However, recently my attitude towards having to wear them has improved somewhat, because I started thinking of it from a different perspective.

Instead of thinking about being made to do something I don’t like to do, I started thinking of it as if I were doing a courtesy for people who really believe in it and are very afraid of getting sick. I’m starting to think of it as a common courtesy. It’s akin to holding the door for someone, or helping an elderly person with their groceries, or being polite and kind to strangers. Wearing a mask does not have to be a political issue if we think of it in simpler terms. It’s just following the Golden Rule. If you were afraid of spiders, and your neighbor who calls himself “Arachno-man” refused to contain his spiders to his own property, because “God and the Constitution intended for spiders to roam free,” you would probably be a bit upset with your neighbor. It wouldn’t be that hard for him to enclose his spiders, just like it’s not that hard for us to wear masks in public.

And then the same goes for the opposite position. People who are terrified of getting sick can cut some slack to those of us who don’t like to wear them. I went into a store recently to pick up one thing and my mask was only covering my mouth (so that I could see with my glasses), and a man in the store started yelling at me to pull my mask up. The store was mostly empty and the man was 10 feet away. So I pulled it up over my nose, and he kept yelling at me to pull it all the way up. Yikes! I would be a “Super Spreader” if I could get him sick just exhaling through my nose from 10 feet away while I was only in the store for 1 minute! And he had his mask on, so I don’t know what kind of weird ricochet scenario he was picturing in his mind.

The point is that common courtesy is becoming an old fashioned notion in many aspects of society and very much so on both sides of the fence when it comes to mask wearing. I hope we can all just calm down and find some middle ground. Thank you for reading my 26th blog.

Mark Inglis

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