Sunday, September 24, 2023

Staying Healthy Takes Work

If social media is any barometer of this, anti-mask abuse appears to be skyrocketing.

Fixed it for ya!

There are tons of comments by the Covid cautious about about being accosted at stores and in the street, followed by others suggesting that's just not happening. 

I wrote about being harassed on the street over a year ago, and a few people (men) commented that it never happens to them, so I added in: 

"If right now you're thinking, 'Nobody ever hassles me about my mask,' it could be because you're male or a more imposing female or neurotypical or you don't travel around alone on foot or by bike all the time, or you don't live a few blocks away from a site home to regular anti-mask rallies!"

I've actually found the level of harassment directed towards me has decreased in my area -- knock wood -- which could be because I travel similar route, and see the same people over and over, and people have grown weary of hassling me and having no effect.

But it could also just be that I've been mainly up north for the past few months.

Dr. Michael Livingston is seeing an increase in his parts, 

"The mask appears to trigger people, who are ignorant I deal with immunosuppressed patients or just don't care. One of them (a patient) asked me why was I wearing a mask. I thought they were concerned about themselves or me. Before I could answer, they said, Do you have Covid? When I replied, No, straight away they told me the mask won't work and I was going to get it soon enough. After that pleasant intro, I informed said patient this mask prevented me to date from catching any respiratory disease, and given I have seen 30-40 patients with RSV-like illness that week alone, it's safe to say it's working. This irked them even more. The mask was nothing to do with why they had an appointment, but they felt qualified to comment on an area they have zero qualifications in. The zest with which some wish we were as readily infected as they are, and our immune system as dysfunctional as theirs, is astonishing." 

People like this seem to want to shame us into conforming to the norm of mass illness. It allows them to feel better about giving up trying to avoid it. They desperately need masks not to work, because the alternative means they could have prevented being sick for so long, or prevented someone's disability, or someone's death. Or they're vehement that masks don't work because they did wear a mask, but wore one that didn't fit tightly with gaps at the edges (pinch that nose clip tight and knot the earloops!), or they took it off to eat, or they wore it on their chin most of the time or just kept it in their hand in case someone  coughs. They tried, but didn't follow the rules carefully enough (largely because the instructions were confusing and contradictory).

It's like we've all been given an assignment with 50 pages of small print instruction, and the most important bit was in the middle of page 37, so only a few of us noticed that vital information and got As. We told the others, but they didn't listen because why would something so important be in such an inconsequential place. Well, that's what they told themselves, at least, because really they just didn't want to have to do the work to go back and fix their paper before handing it in. And now that the grades are in, the rest are pissed at us - calling us names and trying to shame us for being keeners. They have to convince themselves they don't care about grades anyway because it's too painful to acknowledge they should have read the small print. Their choice is to be mad at themselves or us, and it's way easier to be mad at us, even though we told them the important bit!!!

But the real issue is that the instructions shouldn't have been so BLOODY DIFFICULT to follow. We had - and have - so many different people telling us different things that are at cross-purposes, and it's complicated to determine which is the best advice. The most recent message from Ontario's Ministry of Health still advises to get vaccinated, stay home if sick, wash your hand often, and "cover your mouth with your arm when you cough/sneeze"!!! They don't mention that almost 60% of cases are spread from asymptomatic cases or that it's airborne, meaning it's inhaled FROM THE AIR, so hand washing does diddlysquat if you're in a room with an infected person, both unmasked. They explicitly don't advise masks unless you click through to their link (which nobody does - face it, we're all headline readers now) where they do suggest, "wearing a tight-fitting, well-constructed mask in indoor public settings" as one of many layers of protection, second only to getting vaccinated. They also don't mention that vaccines prevent severe acute symptoms, but you can still get it, spread it, and get Long Covid. 

I get it. Governments that want to be re-elected follow the will of the people, and people don't want to have to do the work from page 37: they don't want to wear masks. They don't want it to be true that masks help because MASKS SUCK!! Nobody wants to wear them all the time. But what's also true is that masks work to prevent infection of this brain-invasive disease. We all want to forget this ever happened and throw out all our PPE. Absolutely. It's exhausting to think about. 

But it's also live-saving. 

Clean air is important, and many people are working on that, provoking people to form committees to discuss it for another few years and maybe develop more pilot programs after that, and maybe one day we'll be allowed to have the optimal number and positioning of quality filtration units in our classrooms. But right this minute, WE NEED TO WEAR MASKS! 

Instead of harassment, now I find I'm often pitied for my mask, as if I've lost my marbles, which is almost worse. People look at me with a head-tilt typically saved for children. They're more gentle with me, and offer to stay a little further away, but will NOT take the free mask I'm offering.

Dr. David Berger says, 

"This public health obsession with 'managing anxiety' is gaslighting of the highest order. If there's a significant threat, YOU'RE RIGHT TO BE ANXIOUS. It's what has allowed individuals to survive over the millennia. And Covid is a significant threat to our health. You idiots. And I'm anxious about getting Covid. Why? Because I'm not a fucking idiot. I do a risky job - remote emergency doctor. I have a risky hobby - flying single engine light planes across oceans and into bush airstrips. I'm not 'scared,' or a 'coward,' but I am anxious. RIGHTLY SO. [Being told your anxiety is abnormal] wears you down, erodes your resolve, undermines your very being. That's the idea."


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