Face Masks

To wear or not to wear a face mask is a hot topic in our country. With skyrocketing confirmed cases of COVID-19 setting new records daily, it might make you wonder why the rest of the country doesn’t hop on the ol’ facemask-wearing bandwagon. We’ve heard all the excuses, from ‘it’s uncomfortable,’ to ‘I look silly in it,’ to ‘I feel claustrophobic wearing it,’ to ‘insert your favorite eyeroll-worthy excuse here.’

So, why do some have such an issue with face coverings?

Sure, there are a population of people who refuse to wear a face cover because they see it as a challenge to their rights. They have a right to refuse to wear a mask, just the same as businesses have a right to refuse them service. That’s the beauty of our democracy.

But, next time you’re out and see someone not wearing a mask in public, before you give them a side eye and a glare, just consider there could be an underlying reason not readily visible as to why they aren’t masking up.

Please hear me out and, no, I’m not talking about because it’s hot or inconvenient or a slap in the face of your freedom. Instead:

Maybe it’s the autistic child who hates the feel of cloth over his mouth, and doesn’t grasp the concept of how it’s necessary to keep him safe.

Maybe it’s the young woman who is a victim of trauma, rape or abuse, and every time she puts a mask on, she relives the terrorizing details.

Maybe it’s the hearing-impaired elderly man and his companion who rely on lip-reading to communicate.

Maybe it’s a grandmother with asthma or a chronic respiratory condition that impairs her breathing.

In a perfect world, folks who experience these issues could stay home and avoid public situations, but 2020 is anything but a perfect world. Next time you see someone without his or her mask, before you pass judgement, consider there could be a reason for their non-compliance.

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