Last week my family and I went shopping at Walmart. That used to be insignificant, but now it’s sort of a treat for my girls to get to go shopping. The location we were at does not require face masks, and few shoppers wear them. My family did, largely because I want my girls to get used to them in the event that there is a statewide mandate or they have to wear them more often. I often do not wear a face mask myself unless I am asked to, or there is a large percentage of people at a particular location wearing them. I don’t care that much one way or another.
While we were walking through the store, I saw a guy eyeballing me from up ahead. He was a younger, tall, muscular guy who was wearing a smedium shirt and no face mask. As he passed by, I noticed he was unusually close to my cart, and just as was about to pass me, he turned his head towards me and coughed. I felt it on my face.
So, I immediately turned, punched him in the head and knocked him out, while my daughter Bella cheered me on.
My immediate reaction was a bit of shock: did he mean to do that? That’s the kind of thing other people have been arrested for around the country! Is he walking around trying to start a fight? Maybe he’s just an idiot and didn’t realize what he did-I am a firm believer in the stupidity of humanity.
Ultimately, I don’t really care. I’m not paranoid about the ‘rona. If I get it, I get it. But what strikes me, especially in light of this incident, is how disconnected from each other we’ve been. We’ve got people fighting retail employees for doing their job and asking people to put masks on. We’ve got others melting down because someone disregarded the aisle arrows at the grocery store. There’s no grace. There’s no care. There’s anger, and fear, and hate.
Why can’t we just respect each other? If a business or city (or state) requires a mask, then put it on and stop complaining, or simply don’t do business there. If you are a business or city that requires masks, understand that people can make choices for themselves, including where they do their business. If you don’t like what your city or state has decided-elections have consequences. Vote for someone else next time.
If you think everyone should wear a mask, have some understanding that there is a lot of conflicting data as to whether or not they really matter, and some people simply are going to choose not to wear them if given an option (data does show social distancing to be very significant in preventing the spread, which is worth noting as cases are skyrocketing around the country).
If you are a person that isn’t going to wear a mask, remember that there are a lot of people who are afraid, who have lost loved ones to Covid-19, who have preexisting medical conditions, and who simply cannot remain at home for the entirety of the pandemic. Show them some love and consideration, and if you can love them better by wearing a mask, then wear a mask or give them a lot of space.
There are a lot of emotions going in a lot of directions right now. Don’t let your emotions cause you to forget what’s right:
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.
And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”Mathew 22:36-40