I went to the Dollar Tree in Russellville recently for some cheap magic routine supplies. I’m a professional magician, and it’s a wonderful place to find inexpensive items for magic tricks.
As I walked up to the front door, I noticed a sign that read, “No One May Enter Without A Face Covering.”
I was already wearing a mask, so I knew I was in compliance with Gov. Kay Ivey’s statewide mandate, and with the store’s request, but it got me to thinking.
I was ALSO wearing pants, shoes and a shirt – all of which I’m required to wear in public if I want to enter a store.
I do not consider wearing the mask a burden. I consider it a trade-off for living in an interconnected world with other people while there is an easily-spread virus – tiny water droplets that can float around in the air – that is making people sick.
It’s the way I am participating in stopping the spread of a virus.
I’ve been around the world many times. I’ve always marveled at Asian culture and their consideration for others. Many folks in Japan think nothing of wearing a mask if they have the sniffles or a cold. No one has to tell them to; they just do it. They are looking out for their neighbor. It just makes sense to them that they would not want to share their germs with others.
We do not have this culture in the West. We are much more concerned with I, me, mine – but this is a myopic illusion.
We ARE individuals, but we are not exclusively individuals. We are also inseparable from our community and our environment. We are a small part of the whole.
I suppose it could be true that getting me to wear a mask might be a way to “test” how docile I am or how easily I submit to authority – but if you know me, you know this is pretty remarkably, stupendously far from likely. I do not like people bossing me around or telling me what to do. As we Southerners like to say, “It gets my back up.”
But this “mask wearing thing” feels different to me.
There’s a reason to wear a mask. The reason is to help my neighbors and, in so doing, help myself stay safe.
I want us to be done with this virus, and the best thing I can do is help. I can’t find a vaccine. I can’t help test others. I can simply do my part to stop the spread through my community and, in so doing, help stop the spread in other communities as well.
In reality, we make accommodations each and every day to be a part of society: We wear pants, we stop at traffic lights, we cover our mouths when we sneeze, we don’t dump raw sewage from our bathrooms into the streets, and we pull over and let ambulances pass.
In my opinion, wearing a mask is a way to be cooperative while maintaining my ability to interact freely with others in society.
If you have a different opinion, I respect that. I can only have an opinion that reflects my life experiences.
Our opinions merely represent our life experiences, and this is mine.
Having said that – if you REALLY want to stop government overreach … protest having to wear pants in public.
Rockin’ Eco Hero Steve Trash® tours the planet teaching children about their connection to nature through magic, music and comedy. He has his own PBS children’s science show called STEVE TRASH SCIENCE. He lives with his wife and dogs in Frog Pond.