To Mask or Un-Mask (yourself and others)
Dear Aunt Bossy,
I happen to know that a friend’s boyfriend is cheating on her. I think I should tell her. What do you think?
Dear Caring Friend,
You should absolutely tell her if you want:
- To make her utterly miserable, and possibly resentful of you.
- Make her boyfriend hate you.
- Risk losing her friendship.
- Face disappointment if your news does not break them up.
- Force all of her friends to make you the topic of conversation for months to come.
If you decide not to say anything, the situation will eventually work itself out for good or bad, and your life will not be altered in any way because of it.
Good luck. Thanks for such an easy question.
Dear Aunt Bossy,
This mask stuff has really taken a toll on me. I have a hard time breathing through it, and it makes me feel so isolated. I’ve started not even going to the supermarket so I don’t have to wear one.
What should I do? I’m getting depressed.
The Lone Ranger
I’m with you on this, and so are many others. However, the law is the law, and it is possible that the masks deter the virus’ entry into your body… or somebody else’s. Social distancing works, as does washing your hands frequently and keeping them away from your face. I am fortunate that solitude has never been a problem for me, so I am not going out very much. Staying home is definitely safer, whether you are dealing with the flu, covid, or any other contagious disease.
That being said, I think the masks are doing severe and possibly irreparable damage to the human spirit and to our interactions with one another.
Just as people driving autos frequently really do not see motorcycles, we do not see people wearing masks. They become less human.
Especially in a town like Beaufort, where walking out your door or walking into the grocery store is a social experience, the masking has created psychological barriers that allow us to ignore one another, cut each other off with our carts, and spend whole days without connecting with anyone with whom we do not live.
We all need to make a concerted effort to communicate the way we used to, which is indeed an effort. Smile as though they can see it, say something, be aware of people around you, and become even more aware of the world beyond the masks.
I was talking to a dear friend of mine who had been homeless. I asked her the worst part. She said she could always get food, even though it might not be what she wanted; she could usually get shelter, but it was harrowing. She said the worst part was becoming invisible, and totally invalidated by people on the street during the day; even people she had known for years did NOT see her sitting there with all of her things in a suitcase or wagon.
We are doing that to everyone now.
As for you, get out and walk and take short excursions into stores with your mask on. And, if you are willing to, you can cheat by having a face cover through which you can breathe, as long as it appears that it is doing the job.
And, if you pray, PRAY that this disaster ends. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet and no Tonto to amuse you during this time. Also, keep an eye on the depression and get professional help if you think you need it. It can be done online and can be invaluable.