Mask Advice

I have a friend who is in a healthcare profession and is extremely health-conscious. Gets really annoying sometimes with his perfectly balanced meals, endless workouts, and healthy lifestyle advice. He’s also an extremely polite person who hasn’t used anything remotely resembling a swear word in all the years I’ve known him. He’s the kind of fellow who drops a rebar on his foot and yells, “Ay, this was so unfortunate! I’m not enjoying this at all!”

“So what do you think about mask wearing because of COVID?” I asked him cautiously.

“Fucking stupid shit, those stupid damn fuckers with their stupid fucking masks, fuck all that shit!” the friend said.

17 thoughts on “Mask Advice”

  1. So do you think masks don’t work to mitigate against the spread of the virus? Or do you think we should just practice social distancing and not use masks? Or the coronavirus is not sufficiently dangerous or contagious to warrant wearing a mask (unless you’re over 65/70)?

    (I wear a mask when I’m shopping indoors, but not if I’m outside walking.)


    1. I wear a mask as a social gesture. But both the CDC and the WHO concluded, once again, that masks don’t limit spread. So it’s more psychological than anything.


      1. “I wear a mask as a social gesture. But both the CDC and the WHO concluded, once again, that masks don’t limit spread.”

        So who the hell cares about spreading it to somebody else? I wear a mask when I go onto the local Air Force base or to drop off a UPS package because a) it’s required, and b) I’m an old man who doesn’t want to croak from a transient viral contagion after making it this far without a scratch.

        Hey, just relax and ride the tide until a vaccine comes along, and everyday life will return to normal.


        1. My everyday life has been completely back to normal for a while. I was quarantined the first two weeks. After that – what am I, an idiot to stay shut in?


          1. “what am I, an idiot to stay shut in?”

            You’re thirty years younger than I am, and we don’t share the same danger.


        2. “So who the hell cares about spreading it to somebody else?”

          WTF? There are sooo many people in the US who don’t give a flying fuck about infecting others. It blows my mind.

          I understand the people who work at Walmart with no sick leave and hourly pay and who have to go to work, sick or not. But even during regular times, I constantly have to remind my graduate students (who get fixed RA salary) to stay at home until they are well, both to get better faster and to avoid infecting the whole damn group. Even without pressing livelihood reasons, too many people only care about the “until they are well” part and don’t give a shit if they make others sick.

          A few years ago a kid’s mother said he couldn’t come to the afternoon pool party. She said “He has a high fever, but if it drops by this afternoon, he will come.” No! Do not fucking come! It’s not just about your goddamn kid. Jeez.


        1. “I think it would make a good Halloween costume.”

          Actually, the black face mask that I wear, exposing my mean eyes and combed-back dark hair, makes me look like I’m ready to rob the stagecoach in a 1940’s Western.

          If the virus is still around in late October, I won’t need a costume.


  2. Masks don’t limit spread? My understanding is that masks limit the spread to another person, but don’t protect myself from contracting the virus from someone else. The latest news I heard is that soon the CDC will release updated info about the latter, i.e., if masks protect the wearer from the virus. I only wear the mask because public health experts recommend that I do so.


    1. They do change it very often. The most recent study I saw posted by CDC is that masks don’t do anything. But it’s been about a week that I saw it. They might have changed it since then.


  3. What I saw on TV the other day is that the risk of transmission by a person w/o mask to another person is just under 16%; with a mask, around 3%.


      1. I cannot believe that the US is so politically polarised that wearing a mask during a pandemic (or not) has become a political statement. You’re doomed.


  4. At the neighborhood where my sister works security, one of the doctors who lives there saw her wearing a mask. He emphatically, and without prompting, gave her a similar opinion. She had to assure him that it was just for appearances, and that she takes it off whenever there’s nobody at the guard gate.


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