Monday, April 19, 2021

Don't Tell Me What To Do, Mom

I like to blame the massive amount of lead ingested in various ways by people somewhat older than me (not me, of course), but that's only a partial explanation for the fact that some people just become absolutely enraged if anyone tries to tell them what to do or suggests that their behavior in a situation has been anything less than perfect.

The mask wearing and the people who like to get performatively mad about mask wearing are a good example of that. And, look, I think it's the case that outdoor mask wearing is almost entirely pointless (not indoor) as a direct barrier to transmission. I think people who get performatively mad about people not wearing masks outdoors (now, at least, not several months ago) are also a bit annoying. But there are still arguments for rules requiring them and certainly arguments for, at least at the moment, following the cultural norm of wearing a mask in public if that is true in your location.

Even as (soon, hopefully, not quite yet everywhere!) the imperative fades, requiring public mask wearing is a signal that this is serious and it reminds people of the necessity. Following the cultural norm signals that, at this serious moment, you are not a fucking asshole.

Of more concern has been the various panics about "crowded parks" leading to closures in a society that sees "people having fun outside" as a threat, generally.

"Don't be an asshole" applies across the board. Wear a fucking mask if it's what people do, it's a small ask, and also don't freak out if someone isn't, outside at least.

At various times, I've been where public mask wearing is a requirement and/or norm and where it hasn't been and, really, it's fine either way. Of all the Covid indignities, it's just not important. Get mad about something else.