Imagine, for a moment, that you are ten years old and lying in a hospital bed. The kid in the bed next to you is eight and you are watching the life drain out of him. In less time than it takes to slip a face covering on the life had evaporated out of your eight year old bunk mate. For some, that sounds like a scene from a movie, to me that was my youth.
Peter was an eight year old who had contracted polio almost five years after the introduction of the vaccine (2020 marks the 65th anniversary of the polio vaccine). He contracted polio from a family down the street who hadn’t bothered to vaccinate their kids. Peter paid the price because the system was so sure polio was being eradicated now that a vaccine existed. Unfortunately there were still people who couldn’t accept the idea of vaccinations, that same type of mentality that keeps people from wearing masks today. These are the memories that I built my belief system on and includes practicing “responsible” behaviour when it comes to threatening other peoples health.
Flash forward almost sixty year and we are inundated with another health pandemic, COVID19. In less than six months Canada has experienced over 8800 deaths to date and climbing. The world has over 603,000 deaths and yet we continue to ignore such a simple action that could cut down those deaths numbers by who knows how much. WEAR A MASK! It’s really that simple. You don’t need to just accept my word, check the World Health Organization (WHO) for current figures. Take the political ideology out of the spin numerous politicians are using to make this a political issue and not a health reality. This is where perspective comes into play. Are you a sheeple or a rationally thinking individual who is truly concerned for your neighbour.
I do my best to be open minded and supportive of everyone’s right to personal choice. However I am also very aware of the threats to others who may not enjoy the privilege many attending the “anti-mask protest” in Calgary today do. You can do what you want but when what you do threatens other then you are infringing on their rights to a safe environment. I have about as much patiences for those refusing to wear face coverings as I do antivaxxers, drunken drivers, or street racers.
I had too many childhood friends who never got past childhood because other people made choices that cost my friends their lives. They never had the opportunity to enjoy the privilege of “aging”. And they never enjoyed that privilege because so many others felt they knew better. Our healthcare system was no where as refined as it is today so many of these deaths would be averted today because of a change in perspective. We, at least for now, live in a time where we respect science and facts. Contrary to what many “leaders” would have you believe this is a “health crisis”, not a “political rally”.
We have the tools we need to beat COVID19 or at least keep it in check. We don’t need a repeat of the Spanish Flu which cost almost 50 million lives however everyone has a role to play. The inconvenience of wearing a mask is a lot easier to handle than picking out a coffin. For god sake people we live in Calgary and I don’t see a lot of people complaining about face coverings on a -25 cold winter day.
This continual flow of misinformation on the “non” issues of having your face covered all day is crap. Nobody is insisting you spend your life in a mask just when you go into a busy public place. You know, as well as I do, that there are limits to “social distancing” so use the common sense whoever you believe granted you and wear a frigging mask. Why do you think we have drunk and driving laws? To protect the innocent, the mask is no different. If you are that concerned over your rights think about those people who never got to experience those rights because of the neglect of others.
Yes this pisses me off. I survived polio, a lot of my childhood friends didn’t. Contrary to what you might like to think you are NOT the centre of the universe, show some of that “compassion” I keep hearing about and think of those around you. If you had put as much energy and thought into wearing a mask in the first place we wouldn’t still be having this discussion. Perspective people, think about it. Take the ideology out of it and use some perspective. COVID19 isn’t the real problem, your refusal to fight it is…
For any hanging around that protest who agrees with the simplicity of wearing a “mask” grab some pictures with that fancy phone. Post a few and identify those you know, shame is easier to deal with than death. Post them, put them on your Facebook page (that seems to be how democracy works these days), “Oh I read it on Facebook, it must be real”, grow up and fact check. If you post them hashtag them #WearAMask, I’d rather see my picture on a hashtag than in a nice portrait above a coffin…
Thanks for reading, now show me you are listening…
3 thoughts on “When Perspective and Ideology Diverge…”
The culture of “I” as opposed to “we” is what North American’s generally are accustomed to. If people slowed down a bit and read some history as well as paid attention to more inclusive cultural norms I do not think the mask would be an issue .
Stupid is very had to find a cure for!!
Thanks for the comment. Yes I do we believe we now live in a culture of “I” but I also believe that’s a phoneme of the last 40 years. If you look at it through a number of social anthropological tools I’m pretty confident we could see some comparable between the breakdown of the extended family of the “I” culture. It was incremental change that many did not even notice and, maybe I’m more optimistic than I give myself credit for, I don’t believe it is a conscious “personal greed” that is the driving factor but more corporate driven. Marketing became the new religion and almost 3 generations fell into it. Do we really need a TV in every room, a microwave in the kitchen, electronics as a source of childcare, and the lists goes on? But we do need both parents working to afford all of those “toys” and families directed by their two income career go a long way to the “I”. It’s taken 40 years and we are now watching the collapse of an empire that has peaked. It’s a very complex issue in a world where everybody wants “simple” answers. Thanks for reading
I certainly agree with both you and KC. Especially the ” stupidity is hard to cure ” statement.