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Re Porter - Let me wear a mask in peace
bethany porter

On a recent trip to Dollar Tree I had a childish encounter. I started walking toward the door, masked up because for some reason I am not too keen on catching a virus that could potentially kill me or my family members, when I passed a couple. When the grown man saw me wearing a mask he decided to loudly, and obnoxiously fake cough at me.

I wasn’t devastated by the poor attempt to mock me for wearing a mask, but it does get annoying. I often get looks or remarks when I wear my mask in public and it does get old. Me wearing a mask didn’t affect that man one bit, other than possibly protecting him if I was positive and unaware and yet he decided to cough at me. People like that are so weird to me because they say they won’t wear a mask because it violates their personal freedoms and whatnot, but isn’t it my personal freedom to wear a mask?

I have worn a mask every time I enter a building for the past two years. Not to jinx myself or anything, but I haven’t been sick in over two years. Not only does my mask protect me from COVID-19, but also from all the other nasty germs being passed around. If I see someone in a store not wearing a mask, I’m not going to go up to them and tell them what they should or shouldn’t do, or spray Lysol at them. That’s crazy. We are two years into the pandemic and if you don’t believe COVID-19 is real and potentially life-threatening by now I don’t know what to tell you.

The only problem I have with people not wearing masks is when they are around vulnerable people. Wearing a mask around people with serious illnesses who could die if they contract COVID-19 is probably a good idea. A lot of people have been offended when I would wear a mask or choose to stay a good distance away from them. When I worked at the shoe store, multiple people would come in hacking their lungs up and when they noticed I had a mask on or wouldn’t get super close to them they would loudly say they weren’t sick, had been tested, or were vaccinated. Cool, but I don’t want whatever else you might have either.

If you choose not to wear a mask, fine, but don’t harass those who do wear them. Someone I know was wearing a mask at a store when a stranger came up to her and told her COVID-19 wasn’t real and that masks don’t work. Wearing a mask is not the same as having a big sign saying “Please Tell Me Your COVID-19 Opinions!”

My main point is to just mind your own business. Unless what someone is doing is harmful, just keep your opinions to yourself. I wear a mask because I really don’t want to be sick or potentially infect someone else. Speaking of masks, if you wear a mask and pull it down every time you speak, that defeats the whole purpose of wearing one! Believe it or not you can speak with a mask on. Trust me I’ve done it. I also wear glasses making the mask glasses combo a constant struggle so I’m definitely not doing it for fun.

Standard reporter Bethany Porter can be reached at 473-2191.