Tag Archives: California mask mandate

Sometimes the “cure” is worse than the disease

30 Jun

I made a trip to the Portland area this weekend. Yes, Oregon is very different. The geography is different, the people are different, and the politics are different. At times, as I clutched my little dog, I found myself murmuring, “there’s no place like home.” And meaning it!

Like California, Oregon has a mask mandate. But they are way too happy about it, as far as I’m concerned. Along the street outside the hotel, two mask stores. Yes, mask stores. They were tiny storefronts, in old, shabby buildings, surrounded by sketchy bars, and BBQ joints, “Be safe, MASKS!” painted across window fronts. Elsewhere, on street corners, E-Z Up’s with signs, one set up next to a taco truck, another in a gas station, “MASKS!” 

I don’t like to complain to my husband, he tries to keep a positive outlook. But he’s the first one to say so when something seems really wrong. “These people are way too obedient...” he observed as we approached the food truck court one evening. Yes, all around us, young couples, singles, retirees, whole families – masked up like an outlaw gang waiting for a stage coach to happen by. 

To tell the truth, I have an old flour sack, and I’ve thought many times of punching eye holes in that thing and wearing it, Black Bart being one of my heroes, but I’ve thought better of it. I don’t like to offend people, and I heard the first masks the KKK wore were flour sacks. So, I’ll keep that one to myself. 

Instead I carried a set of brightly colored hankies to wrap my face – face diapers – because I feel like I’m a guest, and if my host wants me to wear a mask, oh well, I’ll do it to be polite. Cause you know what – Oregon has no sales tax. I’m glad to oblige in a city full of outlet malls and huge Walmarts, etc, to shop tax-free, so I wrapped up my mug and threw down my money like a sailor on a Saturday night binge.

But the masks bug me – for one thing, I do feel difficulty breathing through them, especially the N-95’s, which also get really hot. But the real thing I don’t like about masks, is that it is tough to feel like a member of a community when everybody is hiding their face. Their eyes are  dead, and they’re just staring right through you like you aren’t there. That is creepy. The cloth masks do look like diapers, it’s distracting to a real conversation, especially when people can’t speak clearly. 

And here I’ll say, I’ve read study after study, and they all agree – masks are not that effective, especially the silly homemade cloth masks. The Chinese “K-95” masks Newsom spent a billion dollars on are criticized because the straps don’t hold the mask tightly enough to keep things in or out. The cloth masks, like my bandanas, only make you about 4% safer than no mask? And then everywhere, I see people wearing their masks incorrectly – nose hanging out being the most common mistake – and I see filthy masks, and I see people constantly touching their masks. Don’t expect me to take the mask thing too seriously.

So, here in Chico, I carry them, but I’ll only wear them in the grocery store, just to be polite to others. As far as retail is concerned, if you have a sign requiring masks on your door, you just said GOOD BYE JUANITA, WE DON’T NEED YOUR MONEY!

Sometimes the “cure” is worse than the disease.