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I have some family members who refuse to wear a mask because they think the benefits of wearing one are a hoax or donning one doesn’t make a difference in the contagion of COVID-19.

Some of them whine that the masks are hot or that they make them feel nauseous, or that they cause you to breathe in your own bacteria and therefore are a health threat themselves. These same people are also socializing without masks and some are even throwing parties.

Because of them – and others like them – this virus is never going to go away.

Because of those like them, I can’t visit my 86-year-old mother – and might not be able to for quite some time. Precious time with her stolen from me and my family; stolen anyway because of the virus but prolonged because of their selfish actions.

Some are refusing to quarantine after attending maskless social events and 4th of July parties.

Some of them claim that the numbers of infected and deaths are inflated, as if even one death isn’t more than enough.

Other countries are flattening their curves, but in the U.S. in many places the numbers are spiking. Florida, where most of my relatives live, is so out of control it’s now considered the epicenter of the world. Not the epicenter of the United States – the epicenter of the world.

I guess these family members have gotten tired of taking precautions … tired of living lonely lives at home. They think that by ignoring the dangers and going out maskless will somehow make the new reality untrue. I wonder how they would have fared during WW II, when sacrifice was considered a patriotic duty gladly given.

I get that humans are social beings. I feel sorry for my mother who lives alone. At least I have my husband and daughter for company, and I have the ability to order what I need online. When we do go out, it’s quick trips for necessities, and always wearing a mask. No visits to restaurants or shopping malls where the virus spreads easier because of poor ventilation. No socializing with those outside our home.

But these family members’ selfish actions and warped opinions – science and the experts are wrong and the president and his lackeys are right in their claims that the whole situation is exaggerated or political – are disrespectful of our fellow Americans, particularly those on the frontlines in hospitals and morgues witnessing body counts increase day by day.

America needs to take the position that we are all in this together and that the virus is the new enemy. Bunkering down and being selfless – instead of selfish – is the only way to end this purgatory of life on hold.

In other words, practice social distancing – and make sure to wear the damn mask.


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