Wear a Mask!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while or you know me in the real world, you know that I am that one person who tries to be “politically correct”, avoids hurting others’ feelings and supports inclusive environments. I am continuously watching my words to make sure they don’t hurt someone I love because we have different views on a subject. That is just who I am and while is not easy to be mindful of my words, I do it because I care. But today, I decided enough is enough. I need to speak up! I know there will be someone out there who will not agree with this post and since we are allowed to have different opinions, well… #sorrynotsorry

I was watching the news this morning. I had stopped watching the news for a really long time because of my work schedule, but now that I am in the WFH life, I watch the news again. There was report about two men who were confronted by a couple for not wearing a mask which after a heated argument, resulted in the lady throwing her coffee on one of the mask non-believers which made him get into a fight with the lady’s boyfriend… really? Has it come down to this? But, why? Here is my theory.

I know wearing a mask isn’t fun. Especially if you are outside, it is warm, you are sweating, it is hard to breath, you know the whole shebang. But regardless of how much we dislike wearing a mask we must wear one because guess what: WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC! You wearing a mask has nothing to do with you political views, religious believes, cultural background, social status, or demographic location. It has EVERYTHING to do with health protocols in the middle of a pandemic. How can this be so hard for people to comprehend?! Oh, but I know why!

In my last post, Getting Back To It, I mentioned how divided our country is, and how critical is for us to work together to make it through this pandemic. But this is more than just my suggestion to get the number of cases under control for our schools to reopen safely, we need to work together to be safe until there is a vaccine. Because this pandemic is taking place during election year, we all got pretty screwed up. Things didn’t need to get to this point and our communities didn’t need to be divided during trying times. It all got worse thanks to the poor leadership we have. Yes, you Mr. President and your friends in higher positions who only care about profit and not about the American people.

Whether you think the president’s response was timely or late, there is only one true fact in it: it divided our country even more. The mixed information provided by those responsible for our safety, the bad example provided by the president who refuses to wear a mask, the lack of ownership of the president who pushed the decision to the governors washing his hands off, the lack of responsibility of those whose job IS to make sure our country is safe and healthy are the reasons why people think wearing a mask is a matter of personal choice rather than a health protocol during a pandemic.

Don’t come telling me that you feel a mask mandate intrudes your personal freedom and your constitutional rights. That is pure BS! A mask mandate is done to protect public health in alignment with the obligation we all have to our fellow Americans not to infect others. A mask is recommended to be worn especially in public settings and when around other people who aren’t part of our household to prevent spreading the COVID-19 virus. Masks help with slowing down and stopping the spread of the virus according to several researches. We have the responsibility to protect ourselves, our family and our community. This is why several sues filled in multiple counties throughout the US have been rejected by the courts because is a matter of public safety and our responsibility to do whatever possible to stop the spread of the virus. Since wearing a mask or face covering is one of the suggested preventive measures to slow the spread of the virus because we are in the middle of a pandemic, there is no constitutional support against it; meaning: is not a choice to wear a mask!

I know there are several people who think the whole pandemic is a hoax, that this is all a joke, and the news are hella making it worst. I am sure that there are inflated numbers being reported, and I am also sure that because the healthcare system in the US is crappy, there are several folks who aren’t being reported because they can’t afford to take a test. And while the existence of the virus is questionable to some, the status of our economy is a reality to all. I know many businesses have closed, our unemployment rate is off the roof (I used to work in customer service and hospitality, and 90% of the people I’ve met through those jobs is still unemployed so I don’t think the “numbers” on the news anywhere near real on this), and we ran out of stimulus money. It would be so great if we could reopen more parts of the economy and for things to go “back to normal”. Sadly, that won’t be the case. We are nowhere near where we need to be to do this SAFELY.

And keep in mind that during this pandemic we changed the way we learn, work, share, among other things. So things will not be the same but we will be able to get people back to work and stop the struggle with paying rent, bills and have money for food. We will reopen safely when there is a vaccine or the virus is under control. It will take weeks (ok, this is rather super optimistic), months, or even years before there is a vaccine. But we can now work together to get the virus under control and stop spreading it. If we manage to do that, many sectors of the economy will be able to reopen. We will all continue to observe health protocols but things will get better. Isn’t that what people really want?

Stop fighting about wearing a mask. Think of it as seat-belt when you are riding a car. The law (wearing a seat-belt is a law in almost every US state but I think is just common sense, don’t ya?!) says you must wear proper restraint protection when riding in a car. It is a safety measure. It saves lives. Some people hate wearing a seat-belt because they think is not “comfortable” but is about safety not comfort. Now let’s change things up: you must wear a face covering when in public spaces or in proximity of people outside of your household. It is a safety measure during a pandemic. It saves lives. Wearing a mask isn’t about comfort, is about safety. Wear the damn mask!

Once this pandemic is over (which we all want it to be sooner rather than later), you won’t be asked to wear a mask. Though personally I think I will never get on an airplane again without one. Try to have fun with it! Match the mask with your outfit. Wear one that helps you express yourself. Just do it; wear a mask. I am gonna leave you with some pics (thanks Google) of people all over the world wearing masks because it is the right thing to do, and a reminder of the quote I live by:

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Gandhi

Stay safe!

Mama Bear Kim

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