I’ve been avoiding writing about Covid-19 directly. There is more than enough out there without me adding my two cents worth— to say the least. But an incident happened to Peggy and me the other day when we were out shopping while wearing our masks that deserves a brief post.
Peggy and I were shopping at Home Depot a couple of days ago, buying what I needed to make a gate for our shrub garden. We had worn our face masks while we shopped and then worn them back to the truck while we were loading our purchases into the back. A man in his 60s was parked next to us and digging through his car trunk. It was stuffed to the brim and looked like it hadn’t been cleaned or organized in 10 years. He spotted us and quickly started sifting through the mess and came up with a black sweatshirt. He held it over his nose and mouth and pretended to shoot us.
Peggy was stunned and I was angry. I was sorry I didn’t have my black cowboy hat along so I could slap it on my head and pretend to shoot him back.
But I didn’t have my hat and wouldn’t have done it anyway. What we don’t need during this pandemic is more tension and confrontations. For all I knew, he had a gun in his trunk and may have pulled it out. It was probably an irrational fear— odds are, he was just being a smart ass— but people have been shot lately over the mask issue. And I thought of the armed men who invaded the Michigan Statehouse a couple of weeks ago demanding that the state be reopened. People marching around with military-grade, semi-automatic weapons and screaming, or just standing silently, are scary. And they mean to scare us and to intimidate us. They aren’t freedom fighters, or true patriots, or heroes; they are bullies.
The real heroes are the men and women working in hospitals and serving as first responders in the fight against Covid-19.
We all want to see America up and running again. We all want to see the world up and running. It has to happen. The point is: It can be done in a reasonable and relatively safe way. We have all the information we need. It involves widespread testing, identification of those who have the disease, voluntary isolation with support, and tracing the contacts of the people with Covid-19. For the effort to work effectively in the US, it needs to be carried out on the national level with national funding. A small portion (estimated around 5%) of the two-plus trillion dollars voted by Congress for economic relief will cover the cost. Countless lives saved and a healthy economy will be the likely results. With true leadership, we can return to a relatively normal life while we wait for the more permanent solution of a vaccine. Prevention works.
31 thoughts on “Eeyore Is So Tired of Wearing His Face Mask, He Has Started Using It as a Feed Bag…”
What is wrong with people? I cannot understand why people think that violence is going to solve this pandemic. And why act like you are shooting someone? I think you can get arrested for that. Weird.
About the only thing that violence leads to is more violence. It rarely solves anything. Thanks for commenting. –Curt
Yes. Well. Tell that to the young woman who confronted one of my elderly neighbors in front of my apartment this morning. The older woman was doing nothing more than walking her trash to the dumpster. She wasn’t wearing a mask, but there was no one around other than me, filling the bird feeders, and the young woman, who was walking her dog. There was no reason for her to be wearing a mask for a half-block walk at 7 a.m. The young woman who confronted her screamed at her, calling her a “stupid b***h” and other such complimentary terms, leaving the woman in tears and bringing a dozen people out of their apartments to see what the ruckus was.
Everyone needs to calm down. There are places and times to wear a mask, and places and times when it isn’t necessary. My neighbor didn’t deserve to be abused, any more than you deserved to be threatened. I have my own opinions about the level of threat posed by the virus and the efficacy of various attempts to deal with it, but I’m certain of this: the damage being done to our society is even worse than I had feared.
It was damage that was already well on its way to being done, Linda. And it goes back a long time. Clashes between generations, clashes between races, clashes between sexes… on and on and on. I can’t excuse the behavior toward the older woman, and won’t. Abusive behavior has been supported and encouraged in our nation far too long. But that doesn’t mean I have to tolerate similar abuse toward Peggy and me simply because we were wearing a mask with the thought that we were helping protect other people if we caught the virus. Our nation needs leadership that will pull us together, not tear us apart, leadership that will protect the institutions of our democracy, leadership that will lead to calm rational discussions. We don’t have that.
As always, I appreciate your thoughtful comments. –Curt
I certainly didn’t mean to imply that what you experienced was in any way justified. Your experience and my neighbor’s are the proverbial two sides of the same coin, and we need to begin trading in a different currency.
Absolutely, Linda. Rudeness is rudeness whatever its stripe, and from wherever it comes, regardless of position. I do think the guns, and threat of guns, add a different flavor. –Curt
I do feel this is the best and most personable account I read on the matter.
I can see how frightening it must have been with the stranger pretending to shoot,
If a joke it is not what we need.
Another comment I do want to hold up is: ” They aren’t freedom fighters, or true patriots, or heroes; they are bullies.”
How very true.
You are also so right about The effort needing to be on a National effort. Led by teams of scientists and medics. Well… and a good leader.
Love your photos, I am fond of Eeyore too, the guy in cowboy hat must be you. Where is the pic of Peggy in Cowboy hat.
Thanks, Miriam. I knew my piece was going to generate some interesting discussion. Normally, I try to avoid politics on my post, since it is mainly about travel/adventure/and the environment, but I felt strongly about the incident and felt it was symbolic of so much else happening in our society. Appreciated. –Curt
Sorry, Miriam, I didn’t answer your last question. Yes, that’s me in my Burning Man persona of Outlaw. 🙂 Peggy is Luna, so she doesn’t wear a cowboy/girl hat.
Oh Curt this is so sad. As is shoreacres story. And scary. And I admit my own culpability – yelling at a runner who wouldn’t give me enough space on the trail I walk everyday. I’ve since become more relaxed about it all after learning that likelihood of contracting the virus outdoors is very low. Still I think it comes down to people are scared. And when people are scared rationality goes out the window. And in the midst of this there is so much good happening – so much kindness and generosity and reaching out. I don’t think we’re quite done for yet.
I love your last statement, Alison. So true. Thanks for the perspective. I think the good far outweighs the bad. Even the fear will drop if we can just take a calm, rational approach to the disease. –Curt
Good to see Eeyore and Bone adhering to the guidelines – I’d hate for anything to happen to those two!!
(I’ve been curious myself as to how many problems have arisen out of people wearing masks and being smart alecks about it!)
Probably a lot, G. But I haven’t seen any. I know things have become contentious on both sides of the equation. Lind of goes with where we are as a nation, now. Somebody pointing a gun at me, even a pretend gun, especially at Peggy, sort of put me over the edge. Still, I didn’t scream at him. Just drove away. It’s scary out there. As for Eeyore and Bone, they’re good folks. 🙂 –Curt
So sorry Peggy and you experienced this. It’s impossible for me to understand how so many in America became so angry and aggressive. As Alison pointed out, there’s a lot of goodness and kindness being displayed across the country, but it’s all being trampled by the anger and violence (even pretend).
It’s scary, Peggy. The majority of people are indeed concerned and kind. They want to do good and do. Unfortunately, for various reasons, there are a lot of angry people out there and their anger is encouraged an exploited. Hopefully, future leaders will have the ability and vision to address legitimate concerns and bring the country together instead of tearing it apart. It is not going to be easy. Too many people benefit from the discord. –Curt
To put the economy before lives doesn’t gel very well, but that’s how it looks from here. There have been cases of verbal and physical abuse here in Australia too, but thanks to the iphone cameras most of those incidents were captured and the perpetrators caught and dealt with.
The incident when people were fighting over toilet paper has been seen millions of times and is now an all-time classic bit of comedy. Who would have thought that sane people would wrestle over toilet paper?
As for face masks, the jury is still out and most of us don’t wear them. I had my corona test done out of a sense of duty and was given a face mask by nurse who gave it to me while delightfully snapping on the obligatory rubber gloves. There was a queue of people getting tested.
So far, Australia has excelled in how it handled this pandemic with 98 fatalities and a bit over 7000 infections. We are now being encouraged by the Government to have an app on our iPhone that can trace our movements and warn authorities of possible links to infected people. I am not sure if the US has put that in place or not. I doubt it.
How awful to have a pretend gun aimed at both of you. That would test anyone’s mettle. You did well to drive off, Curt.
In general, what we understand about the masks, Gerard, is that they don’t do much to protect us when we are wearing them, but if we have Covid-19 and din’t know it, they would help protect others from getting our disease. I would much prefer not to wear one but am willing to on the basis of protecting others. I’ll be glad when we don’t have to.
It does sound like Australia did a great job, unlike the US. But it didn’t’t have to happen here, at least not to the extent that it did. As for the guy who pretended to shoot me, he takes his guidance from on high. 🙂 –Curt
My blood chilled when I read that sentence about the fool who threatened you like that. WTF!!!
WTF is a fairly good description of what I was thinking as well, Yvonne. But the source of such behavior comes from the highest of places…
Indeed it does.
We’re just horrified but what we see and read on the news about events in the US. Very few countries are coming out smelling of roses at the moment but angry citizens with guns…
The gun part has to be resolved, Annie. America has always had the problem, but now it is being legitimized. –Curt
What you said to Yvonne is one of the biggest problems. Our President certainly did not create the violence and aggression in Americans, but he certainly is encouraging it. The ones who fall for his game are all helping him get re-elected and maintain power. Trump is a genius at getting people to fight with each other and no matter how our parking lot battles turn out, he wins.
What happened to you is awful, and so frightening. And where you live *many* people probably have guns in their trunks. It’s absolutely reasonable to have that fear, and it’s absolutely heinous that the man did what he did.
Oh my goodness and I forgot to compliment Eeyore and Bone on their snazzy masks, and compliment Peggy for making them. I knew she would – she’s so talented. Did I tell you Tara made mine? Love having clever people around.
Yes, Eeyore and Bone were looking quite handsome in their Peggy-made masks. 🙂 And yes you had shared that Tara made yours! Great to have folks around who know what end of a sewing machine you are supposed to thread. –Curt
Let’s hope that Trump doesn’t get re-elected, Crystal. I’m not sure that the nation could handle another four years of him. But I never thought he could be elected in the first place!
As for the guy pretending to shoot us. People like him have always been around. What’s different is that the present political atmosphere makes them think that it is okay for them to act out their fantasies. –Curt
It is great to read how you and your readers are coping with and responding to these strange times!
I’m fortunate in that I have been able to see Covid as a resident of both Arizona and Alberta. What I’ve seen in both places is that it is the actions at the state/provincial/municipal level that determines what is actually being done and how the people are reacting. There are certainly ‘mouthpieces’ at the Federal level, but overall they are not the ones who must create (or can destroy) trust at the local level. (Arizona is not California is not Michigan. Alberta is not Ontario is not Quebec)
I thought about the guy putting the sweatshirt over his face and pointing his ‘gun hand’ at you. I come from farming/ranching/rodeo country and I live in ‘horse’ country in both locations. The ‘Old West’ is a part of the heritage and culture. For me, the man’s action would have seemed like a ‘poking fun at the past’ gesture!
The important part, I guess, is for everyone to understand that ‘being in all this together’ in no way means we are all experiencing the same thing. People who can live comfortably and/or earn a living at home will not feel the same way as those who have run out of steam as essential workers. Neither of these groups can appreciate the feelings of the people who can’t do their jobs, and don’t know if they will have one in this ‘bright new future’.
Some people will be content to let the government decide when to return their civil liberties. Other people will push for that by protesting. We need them all, because that is how government and society determine the compromise that works moderately well for everyone. Trump is not Obama. Trudeau is not Harper. I wouldn’t want to live in either country if the left and right didn’t trade power now and then.
Thanks for you comment, Margy. Appreciated. I grew up in the West and hunted. I wouldn’t have been so sensitive to the finger pointing guy at another time. It speaks to how much our society is divided now. I’m all for balance in government. I’d welcome John McCain as President if he were alive because I know he would have America’s best interest at heart. There is nothing wrong with conservative and liberal views of governance. We need both. But politics is the art of compromise where all interests are represented and are welcomed at the table. That isn’t happening now.
We couldn’t fight a war with each state going it’s own way. And presently we are in a war against Covid-19.
Curt I have been sitting with fingers poised over the keyboard for several minutes. I am so shocked at the incident I don’t even know what to say. I feel horrified and sad that in a world wide battle to stop the virus, individuals would choose this type of behaviour.
Unfortunately, Sue, it reflects a broader attitude in our society where wearing a face mask with the purpose of protecting others has become part of the culture wars where “By god, nobody is going to force me to wear a mask.” We can thank our president for that. –Curt