This post is about the issue of face masks and the COVID-19. In it I recount my challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic as an asthmatic and how other people’s wearing (or not wearing) a face mask impacts me. Why do masks have to be a part of the culture war? We are getting hammered by COVID-19 and other countries are much farther ahead on this topic.
“Safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless.”
In that wonderful day you will sing: “Thank the Lord! Praise his name!
Tell the nations what he has done. Let them know how mighty he is!
Isiah 12:4 NLT
Me, inside a CVS wearing my KN95 mask in the Washington, D.C. suburbs
There are a number of topics to touch on in this post. Before I proceed I want to describe what my life was like before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Times Square took this in February on an early morning walk enjoying the city life.
Life Before the COVID-19 Pandemic
Before the COVID-19 pandemic life was much different. While I was an asthmatic it was never something that put my life at risk. From late 2019 I traveled to a number of places – from Chicago to New York City out to San Francisco and even to rural Pennsylvania. I got around. This blog was let me to get out and meet people and travel. I went to the gym and swam about three to four times a week. I did 30 to 50 laps of freestyle. In the process I also was working at getting more into shape by visiting with a trainer. In February on the advice of a grief counselor I traveled to New York City and visited several museums and saw three Broadway musicals. As I type this it seems like a generation or a century ago.
What My Asthma Doctor Has Advised and a Round Up of Lives Affected by COVID-19
When the pandemic was rolling across the country I started to be filled with a feeling of dread. I noticed the warnings about people with lung disease and asthma. My sisters in California raised concerns. There was no guidance and then finally my asthma doctor told me to shelter at home and to be careful at going out. Later on I had a Zoom appointment with her and asked a slew of questions. This is the advice I was given, and she was leaning upon the CDC. She told me to stay at home for the time being. Avoid crowds and if I had to go out wear a face mask. Gyms if they re-open in Virginia are out of the question. So is swimming inside a building. She told me that science is working on a response and she knows it is hard. Travel was discouraged and flying is not safe at this time. It dawned on me in June that this upcoming Christmas can result in me being isolated from family in California especially if I can’t travel home.
The other issue that has stunned me is that there is a number of people I have known who have been impacted by the COVID-19 virus. This is a round up of my life. Stop and consider this issue. I hope you don’t know as many people affected.
- Adult male in late 30’s struggled with it.
- Adult male’s wife struggled with COVID-19. Two months out she is having health problems brought about by the virus.
- Adult male in 60’s who is in quarantine now who is dealing with the virus.
- Adult male who interacted with the above male who was ordered into quarantine.
- Close friend who lost grandfather to COVID-19. I wrote about this in, “When the Pandemic Hits Home: Knowing Someone Infected with the Virus and Having a Close Friend Who Lost his Grandfather to the COVID-19 Virus.”
- Friend who told me of two people she knew who died in the ICU in New Jersey on the same day of COVID-19.
- Another person in Texas who became a part of the pandemic and is dealing with the virus.
- And yesterday I spoke with someone who is from Florida. His grandfather was lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As I am sheltered down in a condo in the D.C. suburbs I can’t recall a time when I knew so many people affected by disease and death in my life. This is the first that I have encountered a situation like this at all.
The Evangelical Culture Wars and Those Opposed to Masks are Threatening Vulnerable People Like Myself
As I am mostly stuck inside I am hearing some troubling aspects in evangelicalism. There were two contentious city council meetings about face masks in California and Florida. Where people quoted God for the most ridiculous reason. I have the Florida one up above. I saw on social media from one person that those who wear face masks are cowards. Then I am also hearing about people having anti -mask parties inside evangelicalism. This corresponds with a post at Internet Monk the other day about evangelicals making face masks about the culture wars. You can read that in, “Facemasks Revisited.” So I am left asking why do face masks need to be a part of the culture wars?
Recently at the PsyPost they had an article about how people who refuse to practice social distancing show traits of Psychopathic traits. When your emphasis is on resisting social distancing guidelines or wearing a face mask I can’t understand why some people would go ballistic over following simple guidelines. Watch the video up above and then read the following article, as I find it quite explanatory. “Psychopathic traits linked to non-compliance with social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.” Now here is another question to raise. When people are choosing to combat or fight requests for social distancing are they exhibiting narcissism and the behavior of someone like Mark Driscoll or James MacDonald? I don’t understand why for some people this is a hill to die on. Canadians don’t think like that at all. Neither do Europeans or Asians. If you look at the stats the United States is the only western country that can’t control the COVID-19 virus. Canada, Europe (or the European Union ( should say) and Asia has done a far better job. Those who elect to make wearing a mask the base for World War III have signaled to me and others who just by birth have asthma or some other condition what our value is in the world. With all the issues going on in the world why should this be a factor? If you are a Christian and you don’t wear a face mask you have communicated quite a bit about what you think about the least of these, and the vulnerable of society.
Its Time for Us to Come Together and Wear Our Masks
Its time for people to come together. Its time for people to put their collective good for their families, neighbors and communities. If we all we’re on the same page then the pain could be shorter. But with everyone declaring an every man for themself that is wasting some of the progress. Some people like me have sacrificed in following the health guidelines. But can I ask every person who reads this blog post to commit to wearing a face mask? Quite simply my ability one day to be able to resume life and live largely rests with people like you reading this post. We’re dealing with a highly contagious virus and one weak link becomes a gaping hole in the system. Can this blog post encourage you to read and follow health guidelines? You can state your commitment below. Or you can do it to yourself. Division is not needed now, what we need is to come together. Will you join me in that effort? This blog would like to thank those of you who are wearing your face mask. It is appreciated.