Well, if the shoe fits…Just because we are tired hearing about appropriate things to discuss, does not mean they should not be discussed. At least that is how I see it. Obviously.
Mask-talk may be annoyingly worn thin, but seeing a mask on the street still makes my blood boil—even more so than it used to. It has become a symbol of ignorance to me if seen in places that don’t require it, and a symbol of compliance and apathy when in places that do require it, such as medical facilities here in Canada. But as shameful as it is to admit, I am guilty of throwing the damn thing on when visiting my urologist, after being told I would have to leave if I didn’t.
Can you believe that? Me? Complying?
There are two types of “non-compliers,” one complies from a place of ignorance, a place of succumbing to authority because that is the “right thing to do.” The other complies when they know the truth but comply because it is just too much trouble not to, doesn’t want to make a scene, and knows at this point that one person standing up and facing the consequences isn’t going to amount to a hill of beans. In other words, being a coward.
Heard that one before, eh? One might ask, “which is worse?”
The second reason to comply is still no good reason, and I come to you here fully exposed and deeply ashamed. But…I wore a FAKE MASK. Even though that makes no public statement, it does make me feel mischievously satisfied. Mind you, I do not wear masks anywhere else, public or private—only in medical facilities (albeit fake, but not even that anymore).
I make this distinction because, in the context of this article, it is an important one to make. I think the person who wears the mask for the second reason stated above, is not stabbing humanity in the eye with an ice pick. There will come a time when those reasons will no longer fly, and wearing a mask, even when required, will be a powerful betrayal to be avoided. I do not believe we are at that point now.
Some may disagree with this reasoning, but the mask isn’t the problem, it is the reason we wear them that is. There is also a tiny bit of rationale in wearing masks in a medical facility. A tiny bit.
I do not think we will win this war allowing ourselves to be mowed down with a machine gun when we refuse to wear a mask. If we can get away with persecution and punishment by pretending to follow the rules, then so be it. Revolutionaries have done this in the early days of a revolution for centuries. There are more effective ways to fight these injustices then getting kicked out of a doctor’s office because you refuse to wear a mask.
I can clearly see the other side of this argument. I would stand up and applaud anyone who refuses to comply and is then humiliatingly banished from the premises. More power to them; such a person is a hero. But I also at the same time applaud the person who is fighting this fight in other ways and chooses to “pretend” to follow the rules in order to get medical care if it is needed (ala a fake mask!). But, for me personally, I am on the fence. And I may slip down to the other side of it soon enough and make a spectacle of myself in the near future by telling the receptionist at the hospital they can take their mask and shove it.
I sat down in the waiting room at my urologist’s office with my fake mask on and feeling rather smug, “I showed them,” I said to myself. Yeah, sure, whatever. My urologist is pretty cool—young, ambitious, a good surgeon (at least he appeared that way to me when he cut out a sizable stone from my kidney a few years ago). I fancy myself a decent judge of character and summed him up as one who would think all this mask crap was a farce. I was mask-less when he came into the little exam room; it was just the two of us. He had a mask on.
“You can take that off,” I said, “don’t keep it on because of me.” He sat down and made no movement to remove it.
“You don’t really think that does any good, do you?” I said after an awkward pause. He then launched into the speech the sheep-folks give when dealing with a client or patient who indicates they believe in all that conspiracy hoopla out there. He wanted to remain kind of neutral, which was not a success. It was obvious.
I shut up. But left the fake mask in my hand, off of my face. I was devastated. “Of all people,” I thought. This is very sad.
I had no way to know if he was just toeing the company line or sincerely believed in his rant. These doctors have been threatened beyond comprehension to walk the straight and narrow, and probably don’t think the mask thing is really a hill to die on. I guess I am one of them myself. At this point it really does not feel like the hill to die on—but am I wrong? I think about all the rebels and dissidents during soviet times. They did not walk around with a sign on them saying “F—k Lenin.” They knew their protest would be lost. “Live to fight another day.”
I left the doctor’s office pretty depressed. I put the fake mask away and checked out, and then walked out, barefaced. The fact I was deceiving everyone with a fake mask no longer appealed to me. I no longer felt excused being an undercover agent for the cause, worried I would lose my cover if I stood on a chair and lit my mask on fire screaming, “viva la revolución!” I was a spy after all, best to lay low. That attitude lost a bit of its appeal.
Doctors don’t seem to have a problem following the rules in order to stay in practice. Most of them don’t even think about it. The orders come down from above and they acquiesce. I wouldn’t be surprised if the CDC, FDA, AMA or whoever else in authority, told doctors to administer gasoline through an IV to cure some new (fake) disease afflicting the masses, most of the “soldiers of medicine” would comply.
Maybe I am being too harsh here. And maybe they comply with something like mask wearing because they see no harm in it, and if it is required for them to keep their license (the license that allows them to help people, which is the real concern in their mind) they are perfectly willing to do it. To be honest, wearing a mask in a medical facility with a ton of sick people milling about (with pathogens that a mask could block) may not be such a stupid idea.
But when does this sort of compliance based on these sorts of reasons, start to backfire on us? Maybe we truly are at a point here where the sacrifice of not getting into to see the doctor becomes necessary to preserve humanity?
Yes, it is that big of a problem now. Being forced to wear a mask has nothing to do with preventing disease, whether people think it does or not, it doesn’t. It has everything to do with marking those who are willing, happily, to comply with arbitrary authority. The mask is a symbol of humility and degradation. It is a submissive gesture, just as shackles are on a slave, or the Star of David is, if it is sewn onto the coat of a Jew.
Complying with mask wearing, if you are doing so because you are afraid of a ghost virus, or of authority that will punish you if you don’t wear one, is being compliant to a lie. That is why it is not a choice. People believe they are wearing masks because it is their right to choose to wear one. But their decision to wear one as their choice, is based on a lie. Any decision based on a lie is false, it is wrong, and it is a nail in the coffin of humanity.
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