Masked Intentions

As if it weren’t enough with the vax vs not vax, additionally, there’s the mask compliant vs mask refusal. Goodness gracious, things are starting to swirl out of control around here. Let me set the scenario.

I have a friend who owns a store. Her daughter is terrified of the virus as is one oof her workers. They’ve all gotten the shot. So my friend put a sign up asking the public to wear a mask in her store (so that they would feel more comfortable). She’s even put out free masks in case someone doesn’t have one. The majority of the public has abided by her request without problem. A few have come in and when they sailed past the obvious sign to “please wear a mask” one of the workers would gently remind them and the customers put them on. A few have balked at the ‘rule’ and left, but such is life.

However, a mutual friend is hotly against wearing a mask, citing governmental control issues and its inefficacy in protecting the wearer from the virus. She has ‘gone down the rabbit hole’ in conspiracy theories and is well-versed in what is being questioned. (Now I am not saying what is true and what isn’t. Nor am I throwing shade on her choice. In fact, I like to hear all sides of it so she shares with me what she’s learned and I find it interesting and even sometimes scary. But that’s another post for another day.)

So, mutual friend enters the store, sees the sign and stops in her tracks. She is not going to compromise her steadfast beliefs by wearing the mask. Store owner friend knows this and quickly tells her that she knows how she feels and she can come in, but stay where the public cannot see her unmasked. Mutual friend hides, but gets uncomfortable, but not enough to don the mask. The worried employee is unsure how to deal with the potential danger who’s unmasked even though they’re friendly and both know how each feels about the mask (which is completely at odds). After awhile, mutual friend leaves because this feels against her beliefs and she cannot understand how her friend (store owner) is not believing what she’s been telling her about her research in regards to the mask wearing.

And guess who ended up in the middle of this? Yup, me. Both came to me to tell about the incident. And while I understood both sides of the mask dilemma, and thank goodness I wasn’t there, they came to me because I’m not involved directly.

So I told them both what I thought.

To the shop owner, I told her that this was her store to request as she saw fit, but I also reminded her that the fear factor isn’t helping her own sanity. She already knew that and honestly, is only doing it for the comfort of her daughter and employee. She reminded me that she knew our mutual friend’s feelings on the mask and never demanded she wear one. She just didn’t want the customers to see someone without one in the store.

To the mutual friend, I told her that while I don’t like wearing masks, I abide by the rules when I’m out. (I don’t know if they help or hinder by the way, but again, that’s another post). Because of the friendship I have with our store owner friend, I always wear one in her store because that’s her rule. I do not feel that it is anything more than being kind to a friend – like taking off your shoes in a home that prefers it that way. So…for that, for the small amount of time that I am in her store, I don’t find it anything more than being a friend by wearing a mask and following the rules set by our friend, the store owner who is trying to help her family and employees feel safe.

Bottom line is it’s about bridging the gap between us and connecting instead of isolating, punishing and making others feel badly in these uncertain times.

What would you have done? Have you been in a similar situation? How do you feel about it?

Please remember to be kind in your comments. My intention is to help people to work things out so that all can feel safe with the world around them.

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32 Responses to Masked Intentions

  1. It’s such a tricky situation. In Toronto masks are still mandated anywhere indoors in public places and for the majority of the public this has not been an issue. Just today I saw an elderly lady in a grocery store talking to me without a mask on even though the sign at the front of the store and inside the store clearly states you have to wear a mask. Our government has always said if there’s a medical reason for you not to wear a mask then that’s okay, and small children are also exempt, although I see young kids as young as to two wanting to wear a mask because Mommy and Daddy are wearing masks.

    In a situation where mask mandates are requested by store owners and not mandated by governments I would simply do what the store owner requests. I just don’t see it as such a big deal. If I was adamantly opposed I would simply not shop at that store or suggest an alternate way of getting access to the product. Ask the friend to get it for me and I’ll pay her back or order online…

    I fail to see why we have to turn it into such a big ordeal and debate and risk friendships. It’s not that difficult to be respectful of other people’s choices…

    Liked by 1 person

    • janieleeds says:

      Thank you for your comment! I agree with you – it’s not that difficult to be respectful of other people’s choices – although I’m sure there’s someone somewhere who would like to argue that quote, but I liked it! And I agree with you! 🙂 Stay healthy and safe!

      Like

  2. Beth W. says:

    That is a tough position to be in, Janie! I think you handled it perfectly. I myself am not a fan of masks and do not wear one if I don’t have to. That being said, my hair guy, a wonderful person, is absolutely terrified of Covid and has a mask policy. I don’t like it, but I like him and what he does with my hair, so when I am there, I will wear a mask. In another situation, however, with my potential suitor who shared a love of music with me, when he started talking about how I should always wear a mask and should avoid “dangerous” places like movie theaters, I knew there was no future for us. I think you are right that we need to respect the feelings of others and to just agree to disagree. I believe that every business owner should have the right to do as he/she likes. If someone disagrees, he or she is free to find another place to shop. I think by trying to make each see the other’s perspective, you did the very best you could. ❤ 🙂 ❤

    Like

    • janieleeds says:

      Thanks Beth. I really tried my best. They’re speaking so that’s a plus. 🙂 As for the new suitor, well, I guess we’ll just have to say…Next…and move to the next one. I’m sorry he’s full of worry, but he doesn’t sound like a good fit for you. Which, better to know now then find out later… so onward and upwards! 🙂 ❤️❤️

      Like

  3. TJ Fox says:

    Every single bit of actual science states that masks are extremely effective, when worn correctly (HUGE piece of that), at preventing the spread of many viruses, not just Covid, or reducing the amount of the virus you will get exposed to so that you are less likely to end up with a severe case of the illness. I really struggle with anyone that claims they have done their “research” and come up with a different view on masks because there is no scientific basis that says otherwise. None.

    I had written so much more, but deleted it because I’m a little passionate about the subject. While I’m all for being able to see different sides of situations and differing opinions, there is a huge disparity between a difference of opinion and diametrically opposed, incompatible world views and that is where I think much of this issue falls.

    Liked by 1 person

    • janieleeds says:

      Thanks TJ for your comment. I agree that you are right – this falls in that spot between opinions more than anything else, but both parties are trying to be nice to each other which is good.
      I think the mask wearing is the tip of the iceberg in the matter, but I like that you know so much about masks. 🙂
      Passionate about the subject is great and I welcome it. But I also appreciate the fact that you wrote a kind comment and message to me. 🙂 Thanks TJ!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. scr4pl80 says:

    I totally agree with what you told your friends. While I do not wear a mask when walking our dog, I will most definitely wear it in any shop that requests it. I think it was rude of your non-masking friend to put her masking friend in that awkward position. Makes me wonder about the “friendship.”

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    • janieleeds says:

      I think it was a good lesson for us all and that’s why I wrote about it. They are doing ok now which is good! But it was a bit of a learning curve for all involved including me. When I’m outside, I don’t wear one, but in stores, I always do. Perhaps that’s why it wasn’t an issue for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The V Pub says:

    It’s up to the owner of the establishment. However, I’m getting a bit miffed at the roll out. Two weeks to flatten the curve, to the vaccine so we don’t have to mask up, to mask up anyway. I’m losing faith…

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    • janieleeds says:

      Rob, I understand and now that boosters are rolling out, it’s even more frustrating. I don’t know what is right nor wrong these days because there’s a ton of different information out there and depending on where you see the information, it’s different. I’m not sure what the real answer is anymore.

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  6. petespringerauthor says:

    I’m generally open-minded about nearly every issue. I’m often the one in the middle, trying to make peace. In this case, I’m starting to lose patience with those who feel their rights are being violated. Do we have 100% conclusive evidence that the vaccine will work? Not 100%, but pretty close. It’s saving lives. Do we have 100% conclusive evidence that masks will work? Not 100%, but if used properly (not worn at half-mast like so many are doing), it seems pretty clear by now that the virus is transmitted less when people wear masks.

    As a math guy, I play the odds. I don’t want vaccines and masks for the rest of my life, but if it means I’m saving my life and, equally important, the life of others, doesn’t that matter? My next-door neighbor told me at the beginning of the pandemic, it’s all fake. He was a big anti-vax person. As someone reluctant to put unnecessary medicines in his body, I somewhat understand. Now, sadly, at age 51, he has passed, and his family is suffering. Our hospitals are jam-packed with Covid patients, our ICUs are full. Now folks with other important medical needs can’t be seen or have to fly out of the area. Come on! I sure hope the variants don’t affect children like the early evidence appears to show. Do we really have to allow kids to die before some give up their crusade? Sorry about the rant Janie, but I’ve been holding this in since the start. I’m not trying to make people feel guilty for their choices, but it’s time to look at the good of the whole.

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    • janieleeds says:

      I agree with you Pete and I feel similarly as I am a middle of the road peace keeper myself. I am sorry to hear about your friend. Please accept my condolences as I am sure all are suffering by his loss. That’s tremendously difficult in these times, especially when there is a vaccine available.
      I don’t know what is truth anymore. So I continue my middle of the road, doing my best, wearing my mask and staying away from people so that I don’t put myself in a dangerous position if I can help it. I hope, as you do, that this virus and the variants go away and that we are all safe and healthy.

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  7. I love the advice you gave each of them. It was loving and non-judgmental and that’s what people need to hear.

    Like

    • Medical professionals have always worn masks for a reason. They reduce the transmission of germs and viruses. We wear seatbelts for a reason. Children have to show proof of immunizations to start school for a reason. It’s to protect us and others. I got the vaccine as soon as I could, so did my family. We did it for us and for children who are unprotected. I still wear a mask in stores and flying. I’d do it whether it was mandated or not. It’s a simple thing to do. No one is taking away my personal liberties.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m with you completely. It’s about reducing our collective risk. I don’t get the personal liberties argument on the masks. It just doesn’t make sense to me. My son has been home sick from school this week with a cold. we’ve tested him for Covid every day to make sure he isn’t endangering anyone when he goes back to school. As for the vaccination, I’m praying my doctor clears me soon! I had to take prednisone for asthma/bronchial issues and it wasn’t safe to get the vaccine. Then I got a cold, I’m super anxious to get the shot because I know it works. P.S. I think masks should have been a thing during flu season and should be a thing when the regular flu season returns.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your measured and well thought out response. I appreciate that you thought of others with your son and that’s what my son and his wife do too, keeping Covid tests at home to use in the case of infection. I have asthma too, but not so bad that I couldn’t get the vaccine. Mine is controlled with Advair. I’m loving masks now too because I didn’t get a cold or the flu. I will always mask up on airplanes now, too. This should never have been political-it’s a health and science issue.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Amen!! Well said. It’s tragic that this has become political. The worst part is my asthma only flares up every 3-4 years. And of course it’s this year. We have a duty to those around us, especially those with compromised immune systems, to reduce the risk in any and every way possible. I also think that as a culture we need to stay in this space where symptomatic people aren’t expected to be at work or school. Before the pandemic, in my old job, you were expected to be there even if you were dying. I tend to not get very ill, but that’s not the same for people around me. Thanks for the great discussion, stay safe.

        Liked by 1 person

      • janieleeds says:

        Thank you! I hope you stay safe (and healthy) as well. I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it must be with asthma!
        I think we all need to just take a moment to be kind, to compromise and to think before we speak/react/act. I think it would make a lot of these tense moments easier.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re so right. Kindness, compassion and understanding is really what the world needs right now.

        Like

      • janieleeds says:

        That song…What the world needs now is love, sweet love….came to mind. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • janieleeds says:

        I like that you are all connecting with each other as well and being kind! 🙂 Not that I wouldn’t expect it or feel that my blogging friends would be any other way! You’re all awesome! 🙂 Stay healthy and safe!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • janieleeds says:

        I hope that you feel better soon and that you can get the shot when your doctor clears you. May the cold heal quickly so you can feel less anxious! I like what PR said about medical professionals too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • janieleeds says:

        Thank you for commenting Princess Rosebud. I think we all have to do what is needed in order to help each other. That’s the bottom line. Wear the mask when necessary like the surgeons. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I appreciate your response! I truly believe we have reached the point after 18 months or so that it’s time to stop arguing and debating about masks and vaccines. We have important work to do to save this planet for our children and grandchildren.

        Liked by 1 person

    • janieleeds says:

      Thank you so much! 🙂 I tried my best. I hope it helps!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. ... says:

    I can see both sides of the situation. I’m not really a fan of wearing a mask but I don’t mind if the stores request it. If I am out running and meet people wearing a mask I cover my mouth with my handkerchief. I heard of someone last week near where I work who went to a grocery store (that’s about all thats open at the moment anyway) and said she couldn’t wear a mask. The staff asked her to leave and there was a bit of a tense situation about it all. She could have asked somebody else to shop for her like I do for a friend of mine.

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  9. Ainsobriety says:

    I am with you.
    How is it hurting me to respect a request to wear a mask?
    So it do.
    I am otherwise opposed to any sort of vax mandate and I am happy to try to live as normal as possible.

    I feel like I spent a year living in fear and it wasn’t healthy.

    Hug. Just tell them both you love them. That helps.
    Anne

    Like

    • janieleeds says:

      Thanks Anne. They both know that I love them (and they love each other). It’s just interesting to me how this whole situation has separated us instead of uniting us with conversation about these things. I don’t want to live in fear either. Hugs to you too…and thanks for your hug. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

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