My Blog Week: June 14 to June 20
A Word on the Week
Behind the Mask
I have been not wearing a mask; the place I live hasn’t made it mandatory. But I’ve got them now, and it’s time to start. Awhile back, I tried a home-creation, using a knit headband, and the effect was pretty suffocating…so I put the matter aside. I thought, as rural people do, that the large issues weren’t really here, and could be watched and waited upon. But the weirdness of politics has forced it. If you don’t wear a mask, you give the appearance of siding with the unacceptable.
None of us should want to go there…so much is wrong with visible symbols of political affiliation, worn on the body. It’s a step towards instant discrimination, which leads to denial of opportunity.
I’ve wondered why no organized initiative is being made to get masks to every household in a locale. The first problem for the individual, obviously, is where do you get one? The ball was dropped, early on (all possible balls were dropped), and so the crucial impression at the outset was frustration…a thing you’re supposed to do, made to feel bad about not doing; a thing you don’t have the immediate means to do, have not been prescribed any path towards doing. Start people off with frustration, then give them yes/no/yes, stop/start advice, and not surprisingly the mask becomes a complication. The rightists’ wish to keep in play the fear that COVID may be a hoax, mask-wearing a betrayal of faith in the presidency, helped steer the sensible precaution into political statement territory.
I bought a twenty-pack of paper masks (ordered from Amazon), and having tried them, I can offer a little advice. It’s true, they’re not comfortable. I figured paper, letting some air flow through the sides, and being a lightweight material, would make for easier breathing, but even with the mildest of masks, hot exhalations come back continually in your face. It does appear you can wear the standard design the wrong way. The pleats on the outside ought to face upwards, so that the ones on the inside face down, and don’t channel your breathing to your maximum discomfort.
It’s important, though, to get this experience, to appreciate what workers who have to wear masks all day are putting up with. Understanding shines a light on just how bad the silly “freedom fighter” claim is. You don’t want to wear a mask, but you want to be waited on by people who have to. You don’t want to admit: “I don’t like the way it feels, and since no one’s making me wear one, I won’t.”
Instead, you insult everyone by foolishly aggrandizing your personal peeve. How much more weak and cowardly, then, are those who have yelled at, and sometimes attacked others physically for wearing masks!
On Monday, a new Totem-Maker, the character gathering opinions from another side; on Tuesday, The Mirrors (part five), a brush with the spectral, and Carmine beginning his story. Wednesday, a new Battle Stations, with Colonel Llewellyn dissatisfied with an underling’s performance. Thursday, Frédéric Boutet’s “Good Counsel”, the story of a roué with a bright idea. Friday, Eight, “Lines Attached”, the fourth on propaganda. Saturday, a reissue, “Petal and Perfume”, a poem found in Rattus.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.
My Blog Week: June 14 to June 20