Well, we’re into round two now of the Covid business (or round six—I’ve lost count). And here in Madison, Wisconsin at least, we’re back to a general order to mask up anytime you leave your garage or walk out the door to check the mail without a hazmat suit on. Personally, I’m fine with that.
Overall I have to say we did kind of poor job of responding to the first wave of the Corona virus, which is why we have an all-new round to deal with. And as I observe the reaction to the new round and the new order to mask up again, I see the majority has decided to just phone it in. I attribute this to the fact that getting together as a group and doing what is in the best interests of both oneself and the group is kind of annoying.
A recent trip to Woodman’s grocery store, where a sign on the door says it is mandatory to wear a mask upon entering, nonetheless had half the customers inside either not wearing a mask, wearing a mask under their nose, or wearing a mask as a codpiece. In regard to the last two methods of following the letter of the law while completely ignoring the spirit of the law, my initial thought was “I had no idea humans were this stupid.” This is not a fact I wish to acknowledge, for if it’s true, America is doomed. My second thought therefore is that this is not a sign of stupidity, but rather a display of self-perceived cleverness given that by wearing the mask under your nose (or on your junk) you’re putting one over on The Man, given that you’re following the rules, but oh how cleverly so.
Woodman’s had a security guard at the front door to make sure everybody was wearing a mask. Well, that’s what I thought he was there for initially. It’s possible that he was just there to see if any of the people entering were D.B. Cooper.
One group I see often enough is what I call “The Divided Family Group.” This would be a husband, wife, and small child. The wife and child are always masked, but the husband is not. I believe the reason why the husband is not masked is because he is what we call a manly-man. In the words of Vito Corleone, “Women and children can be weak, but men cannot be weak.” See, in some cultures, taking steps to make sure you don’t infect the rest of your family with a fatal disease is considered a sign of weakness.
I had to go to Target today. They have a similar sign that says everybody has to wear a mask. Half their employees were wearing the mask under their nose. Some had pulled their mask completely down so as to speak to (and spray on) a customer looking for a particular item in the store.
I realize having to wear a mask is a tiresome affair (you have to put it on, then you have to take it off to go to bed, then you have to put it on the next day, then you have to take it off when you take a shower after work—yikes), but I have to say that I’m really happy Germany attacked England in World War II rather than America, because if Germany had attacked America, I’m sure after the third or fourth V-1 rocket landed in somebody’s cornfield, half the country would be willing to give up as well as offer Betty Grable to Hitler as a throw-in.
Or, perhaps there’s something more at play here. Hm. Yes, maybe I should not be quick to judge. Maybe it’s this: We’ve become a country made up of “special people” and “not so special people.” Now, what makes someone “special” can be all sorts of things. And what makes someone “not special” can also be all sorts of things. It’s kind of a lottery. But we basically now have a caste system where if you are just “not special” you’re there forever. And if you are judged “special” you’re also there forever. Essentially it works like this: If you’re “special,” you don’t have to take responsibility for anything you do, even if it’s a bad thing. If you’re “not special,” then not only do you have to take responsibility for the bad things you do, but also the bad things that anybody else might do. Also, the good things you do as a “not special” person are open to further review in regard to whether or not they were actually good. Which they probably weren’t.
What this leads to is the “not special” people getting pissed. And because they’re pissed, they need a way to un-piss themselves. This is done by pushing back against the rest of society in some manner so as to make a statement that they are “special” too. Up till now, all they’ve really had as a tool to project their disagreement over being judged “not special” is not using their turn signal. And that’s always been kind of lame. But now they have something way better and way stronger which allows them to convey their point: making you uncomfortable, nervous, and afraid to touch any of the broccoli in the produce section that just moments ago you saw them breathe on.
And this makes them happy. I know they’re happy, because they are always jolly and loud, especially when they’re just a foot away. And the reason they’re happy is because they are exercising their liberty. There is nothing greater than exercising one’s liberty, and nothing worse than being prevented from doing so (except being dead).
So, I’m willing to make a compromise. If all the people who are exercising their liberty or pulling a fast one over on The Man, would just cowboy up and wear a mask (on your whole face—where the virus goes in) so that hopefully this thing can come to end before the whole country goes bankrupt and we end up like Spain after Elizabeth I blew their Armada out of the water and they all had to go on welfare for three hundred years before they were rescued by the Carnival Cruise Ship company who made them a must-see tourist destination, I’m willing to stop getting upset about the turn signal thing. Deal?