Public health experts say we shouldn't shame people who choose not to be vaccinated or ignore mandates to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.
OK. I get that. Shaming isn't a good way to change behavior.
Anyway, I'm too polite and well-mannered to go around telling maskless Oregonians what I think when I see them scoffing at Governor Brown's order to wear a mask because of the highly contagious Delta variant that has filled up almost every general hospital and ICU bed in this state.
This is causing non-Covid patients to die unnecessarily, because the mostly unvaccinated Covid patients are sucking up hospital beds that otherwise could be used by people who need one because of a traffic accident, heart attack, or whatever.
So, yeah, I have good reason to be irked at those who refuse to wear a mask -- the second best way to prevent Covid other than by getting vaccinated.
Here's what I'd tell the maskless if I felt like walking up to them and sharing my honest feelings about their foolishness.
You're either ignorant, uncaring, or infected with the Fox News-Republican Party disinformation virus. Doesn't matter which of these explains your decision to walk around maskless in this store, gym, or other place we're sharing.
Probably you believe it's your decision whether to wear a mask. Actually, it isn't. You can make your own decision about whether to be treated for cancer. But you can't make that decision for anyone else.
Likewise, with Covid, your freedom ends when you exhale.
By not wearing a mask, you're markedly increasing the chance that I or someone else will get Covid should you be infected. Even if you don't have symptoms, you can still put someone in the hospital, or even die, because of your failure to wear a mask.
You maskless fools walk around in your own self-absorbed bubble. You must enjoy the feeling of ignoring public health advice. You must relish the idea that you're marching to the beat of your own uncaring drummer.
Problem is, your selfishness increases the risk that someone else isn't going to be able to march to any beat at all, because they're lacking a heartbeat after losing a battle against COVID-19.
And don't get me started about how stupid it is to "wear" a mask with your nose exposed, or dangling under your chin.
You do realize that breath comes out of your nose and mouth, right? And goes in that way, also. Even if you're anti-science, you must have grasped by now that air goes in and out of your nose and mouth, not your neck.
I don't respect people who fail to wear a mask when one is mandated.
However, if you're going to act like a maskless jerk, own your jerkiness! Walk around proudly uncaring, ignorant, and clueless. Wordlessly scream out to your fellow shoppers or gym-goers "Look at me! I'm a selfish dude/dudette. My maskless face proclaims how little I care about other people."
Maybe wearing a mask under your nose or chin allows you to feel that you're able to have your Covid cake and eat it too. Hey, I'm wearing a mask! Take that, store owner whose sign on the front door says "masks required."
But actually this just brands you as a wishy-washy fool. When I see someone with a mask that doesn't cover their nose and mouth, I'm more irritated than I would be if they weren't wearing a mask at all.
Not wearing a mask could mean that the person forgot to put it on. Or they have a rare medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask. Letting a mask dangle under your chin, or slightly better, under your nose, explicitly tells the world that you're a jerk who has a mask, but doesn't want to protect yourself or others from Covid.
Whew. That was a lengthy message.
Now I guess I could print up some cards with this blog post URL and a statement, "Read this to see what I think about you," then hand them out to to the maskless or wrongly-masked who irritate me.