My Mask Policy

by wjw on February 25, 2021


We had no sooner crossed the New Mexico border than a text appeared on my phone telling me that my COVID vaccine awaited me.  So tomorrow I get Jab #1, which I expect will reduce my sense of anxiety.

Since returning home I’ve mainly been trying to get my head into the right time zone.  Eastern Time didn’t seem to be working for me.  Every time I tried to work my head kept telling me, “Naw, you got that all wrong.

Strangely enough my leg and back pain was reduced during the trip West.  I suspect I’m benefitting from spending eight or ten hours per day sitting upright in a narrow seat, with my feet flat on the floor like my primary school teachers all recommended.  Now that I’m in my own comfy chairs and my own comfy bed, the leg pain has increased.

After having endured the horrors of Oklahoma and Kentucky, I’ve decided that I should announce my mask policy.  I’m not a head of state or a governor, I’m just a guy, so there is no way to enforce my preferences on the world— except, of course, by way of sarcasm and mockery.

Just remember that I’m the guy that came up with several rules for living, including Williams’ First Law: Assholes Always Advertise.

So here goes:

While there is very little scientific data about how effective mask use is in preventing COVID, the wearing of masks in public is (at the very least) a courtesy to others, particularly those most vulnerable to the disease.

So if you’re in public and not wearing a mask, I’m not going to assume that you’re a brave  iconoclastic thinker challenging accepted dogma, I’m going to assume that you are a complete asshole.  And not only are you an asshole, you’re advertising yourself as such.

Likewise, if you’re only partially wearing a mask, like wearing it only over the mouth and leaving the nose free, or wearing it only over the nose to let the mouth free, I will not assume that you’re— actually I can’t not assume anything in this case, because I can’t conceive any rational reason why anyone would do this— so I won’t not assume anything, I’ll simply assume . . . that you’re an asshole.

And not only that, but there’s actual data that supports my position.

Researchers from the State University of Londrina found that people who reported “antisocial traits,” such as low levels of empathy and high levels of callousness and risk-taking, were less-likely to comply with Covid-19 prevention measures, such as wearing a mask and social distancing.

In this case, “antisocial” refers to traits that are typically present in people diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, which is defined as “a chronic and pervasive disposition to disregard and violate the rights of others,” according to the American Psychological Association.

Your takeaway?  You’re not just an asshole, you’re a sociopathic asshole.

I can’t stop you from being an asshole, of course, but I can at the very least make savage fun of you, and in this I promise I shall be relentless.

Andrew Price February 25, 2021 at 12:57 am

Leg pain: I’ve had lower back issues and get bad leg from sitting on the couch. Sleeping with a
pillow between my knees has helped a great deal. Easy, cheap and harmless to try 🙂

wjw February 25, 2021 at 1:39 am

I’ve been sleeping with a pillow between my knees for years, and it works pretty well. I recommend it for those with hip or leg problems.

Dave Lauchlan February 25, 2021 at 2:42 am

I had my first jab yesterday. Really simple process, painless and I have had no side effects.

Interesting side effect of mask wearing, our flu vaccination programme and covid restrictions here in the UK. Our local health authorities do random swab sampling of the population , taking swabs to understand what diseases are circulating. Of the approx 600K samples Public Health England have analysed since start of January, not a single one has measured positive for influenza. Lots of health lessons for us going forward.

John Appel February 25, 2021 at 10:59 am

Right with you on the assessment of the mask-refusers. And I do believe there’s actual evidence around the efficacy of masks, enough to warrant the CDC now recommending double-masking for those who can’t get true N95s.

Regarding the “pillow between the knees” bit – that one’s new to me but I’ll pass it on to my daughter, who’s been having hip trouble of late.

In any case, glad you’re safely home, and that your vaccination is nigh. I’m happy my parents and one of my in-laws have gotten both doses, as well as the three front-line medical workers in my extended family. I’m firmly down in group 3 along with my son. Hopefully we can get my wife and daughter, who have co-morbidities that put them in group 1C or 2 depending on whose criteria are being used, treated soon. Maryland’s vaccination program has been something of a clusterfuck.

Chris Heinz February 25, 2021 at 9:39 pm

Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Silver Rule: Don’t do unto others as you wouldn’t have them do unto you.
Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.
Bronze Rule: Don’t be an asshole.
‘Nuf sed …

Lise Andreasen March 9, 2021 at 9:40 am

So…no room for people who for various reasons can’t wear a mask? Like actual or perceived choking?

wjw March 9, 2021 at 4:44 pm

I’ve never seen anyone choke on a mask, but I’ll grant it’s possible. If you’re choking on a mask, you have my permission to remove it.

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