Masks are hot. There is in fact no more ask on the planet that is less hot than not wearing a mask. It is summertime and wearing the mask is messing up my tan lines.

Also, I feel we lose some of the essence of our face to face communication when much of our facial expressions are hidden. I love people and I love learning about people and I hate that some of our ability to convey our humanity is literally covered up.

I am the type of person who never knows where his car keys are. Even despite the fact they are typically on the key rack in my home. Due to the combination of Military training, watching a lot Marie Condo and the need to overcome my hyperactive nature everything in my home has its specific physical place. Sometimes I find myself leaving my home in a hurry. I am already late. I get to the car. UH OH – where is my mask? Go back and get it and – 1. I get death stares from Karen next door (and subsequent emails and 2. I am assuredly late.

I must admit, I don’t feel like I am losing civil liberties by wearing the mask and I have a hard time fully appreciating that position. And anyone who knows me, knows that I am definitely a freedom loving patriot and I know that democracy is fragile. I don’t see the masks as some sort of forced conformity. I view the adoption of masks as voluntary solidarity.

However, I don’t think we should FORCE our neighbour to wear a mask. We shouldn’t publicly shame others on Facebook or in the streets. This is first off, a terrible move strategically that will only irritate a non-mask wearer and force them into an impossible double bind. If they wear the mask to comply with your Facebook memes, it makes them feel like they have submitted and it wounds their pride. If they don’t wear the mask, they are harassed. How can someone in a lose – lose voluntarily come to the conclusion that they should wear a mask in an act of public solidarity? They simply can’t because some people have chosen to use force instead of loving patience. When we try to impose our will on others with ridicule is it because we are trying to serve the public good? Or is it because we want to tell our friends a story of victoriously bullying someone who just “doesn’t get it” into complying. I would argue this type of thinking is just as about for our public health as the actual pandemic.

We should all remember that they only type of action that lasts long term is that of true buy-in. And many don’t buy into the benefits of universal mask wearing to stop the pandemic. However, many of those people still wear the mask because they buy into public solidarity. Either one of those will work to increase mask wearing in public places.

That brings me to another point. There seems to be no universal agreement or standard on when masks should be worn. This leads us all to the driving speed phenomena. When we drive on the highway we can’t help but feel that those who drive slower than us are fools and those who drive faster than us are reckless. The mask wearing seems to have a similar phenomenon. If we see someone driving alone in their car and they are wearing a mask we often think, that is over doing it. Yet, we don’t consider the possibility that they may have a short drive and the best place to store their mask is on their face. And of course if we look in a window at a small shop and we don’t see masks we judge those people ruthlessly and gather many self-righteous points in our own eyes. We don’t think, maybe this is a small non-public facing business and they are family or familial and in each others COVID bubbles? Maybe this is one slip after a long day, week, or 3 months?

I don’t like wearing a mask. But I do. I ensure the experience is as fun, stylish and practical as possible by wearing my Dangerous Mask. I don’t over do it. I don’t wear it at home or in my car or on a zoom call. I do wear it when working in conditions where I can’t physically distance, like shipping you your masks with the team! I do wear it when grocery shopping, which I actually found intimidating before COVID and now I just have outright anxiety at the grocery store.

Masks are not my passion. Dangerous Dress Shirts are. But like being in a trench, it is not about me, it is about the person next to me.

For the record, I also don’t like wearing pants. I also do that for you and the person next to me. When the pants backlash happens…I may actually advocate force and shaming on that clothing article ;)

Stay safe and be good to your neighbours, even if they are not wearing a mask, yet.



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