If for no other Reason, Wear a Mask because People are Gross
People have gotten very relaxed with masking. Rather, with not masking. Myself included, which led to me getting a very unpleasant case of Covid in early November. While it’s understandable that mask usage has eased, and perhaps it isn’t sustainable for everyone to wear masks everywhere all the time forever, (because that is what we’d have to do; there is no getting rid of Covid at this point; the anti-mask plague rats ensured the virus’s longevity at the decisive period of the pandemic; we’re stuck with it like we are with cold and flu viruses), there are times and situations where we still absolutely damn well should.
If you are sick, with anything, wear a damn mask. I don’t care of it’s Covid, a cold, a scratchy throat, allergies, if you’re coughing or sneezing, cover the fuck up. No, allergies aren’t contagious, but unless you’re 100% sure it’s an allergic reaction and not an autoimmune reaction, stay the hell away from me. If it’s a confirmed non-sickness, share that news loud and clear with everyone around you. Every cough, sneeze, and sniffle should be accompanied with a declaration of the situation and an explanation of its cause, ie: “*sneeze* allergies *hack* pine pollen.” And whenever you’re expelling high velocity air and moisture from your face for any reason, cover it.
If you have any kind of sickness, but still spend time in close quarters with people, unmasked, because it’s “not Covid,” there is something wrong with you. You are sick in the brain as well as the body. There’s no reason that we should be knowingly spreading any kind of sickness. I don’t care if it’s “just a cold.” I don’t want it. No one does. Colds suck.
The Covid pandemic should have been a lesson to all of us. There were a lot of lessons that were ignored or childishly objected to during the pandemic’s early days, but the obvious one that we should all hold onto is that if you are sick then you should wear a damn mask. This is not a novel concept, if until recently a foreign one. Wearing a mask when you’re sick, even just a little sick, or suspect you might be getting sick, has been the norm in countries like Japan for decades. Incidentally, it is common to wear a mask in Japan to protect oneself from allergic reactions such as hay fever. Granted, Japan has a long cultural history of social cooperation and acting in the common good. Alien concepts to many Americans.
Apart from it being made the standard to wear a mask when feeling unwell so as not to willfully infect others like a raging dickhole, there are situations in which we should wear masks as a matter of course. Everyone should wear masks on planes. You’re trapped in an over-packed, small, sealed and pressurized space with a hundred other people breathing the same stale air for hours. Even if no one onboard is sick, the odds of which are pretty low when you think about it, that’s kind of gross. Do you actually want to inhale the breaths of a hundred strangers, along with every other contaminant they’re putting into the air? People are gross. Planes are gross. Those emergency oxygen masks above the seats should be out and in use for the entirety of every flight.
I’ve gotten very relaxed with my mask wearing lately, which, again, led to my infection (always wear masks in underground haunted houses, btw), but there are times and places when and where I still do and will continue to wear masks. Partly out of a paranoia of getting others sick with Covid or something, but also because it’s often simply smart to do so. I don’t need to be breathing in everyone’s breaths. People are gross.