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December 14, 2020

Contributing to the Chaos while

Living – Life – Large

Dan Abernathy

We are all aware of the statewide mask order issued by Wyoming Governor, Mark Gordon that went into effect on December 9, 2020. I have to say this whole issue floods my mind with thought and leaves me scratching my balding head a bit.

To wear or not to wear a facemask has moved towards the top of social debates. Wyomingites like to consider themselves a free group of individuals. We are here because we do not like to be herded with rules and regulations, even when they are possibly implemented for the good of all.

Even with this mandate trickling down from the highest order, they are not really pushing or corralling our freedom. Wearing a face covering is still a personal choice. The choice however has repercussions.

First of all they are not even telling you to wear a surgical mask. The mandate refers to the order as a face covering. This allows you to be considered complying with just about anything pulled across you nose and mouth. As long as you have something on, you are complying.

If you have any medical condition, a mental health condition or disability, a person is not required to wear a face covering. This person is also not required to provide any documentation or explanation demonstrating that they cannot wear a face covering. It is even unlawful to be asked.

This mandate is just another rule that is being implemented as a feel good factor with no intent to be monitored or enforced. Enforcement is instigated from society and being manipulated and shamed from your peers.

Walking into the local grocery store or post office you are walking into an arena circled by spectators executing judgment and comparisons. If you are wearing a face covering of any type, you are complying and perhaps deemed weak, a left sided liberal that is comfortable with being lead.

If you are not wearing a face covering you are a holdout, an uncaring right winged freedom fighter. An individual that will not be shamed or told what to do by a whim or anyone that is not true to their way of thought. Each way you are being judged by the values of others.

As for myself I have not just sit in isolation and thought of these scenarios. I have been out on the battlefield doing covert recons. Wearing a face covering, I carefully walk around looking into the eyes of the masked. Though they are feeling comfortable with a false sense of anonymity, you can see from their covered look you have been approved and accepted among the safe ones. At the same time you’re looked at as a defector from the ones not covered.

If you walk, throw caution to the wind and leave the face covering in your pocket, as I did while infiltrating the revolutionaries, you are quickly looked at, condemned and called a uncaring bully and are probably walking down the isle the wrong way. At the same time looked at as you’re a renegade from the ones covered.

Even though Sheila Bush, Executive Director of the Wyoming Medical Society said, "Everyone wearing a mask is the simplest and most effective way to reduce the state’s rate of transmission.” You are being judged, condemned or condoned by your peers and society.

What I see in this masked division is another Litmus test. A Litmus test is a simple conclusion deriving from a single factor, such as an attitude, event or fact that becomes decisive.

The shopping cart is the ultimate Litmus test. To return the shopping cart is the right thing to do when you are done using one. This is something you are able to do. It is also not illegal to not return one. A shopping cart presents you with an apex of weither you should do the right thing or not. You will not be punished for not retuning it. Returning the shopping cart is just something you do because it is the right thing to do. In conclusion, the result of this test determines if you are a good or bad member of society.

Now introduce this pattern of thought and logic with face coverings.

Facemasks are being introduced in so many ways styles and fashions that it boggles the mind. From disposable, use one time and toss, to designer styles that include art, advertising and power statements. Face coverings are becoming the new baseball cap. Which in itself introduces another issue and moral dilemma. Should people, businesses and organizations be profiting form the sale of face coverings during a global pandemic? A commercial and monetary venue where are leaders are mandating that we wear.

This also puts us into another realm of trouble from the cluttered mind. Disposable facemasks are starting to blow around with the leaves and getting stuck in fences and sagebrush. Facemasks are quickly becoming the new discarded cigarette butt. I have lost count of the number of facemasks I see on the ground, left on a chair, at a table or in a parking lot.

Our self-proclaimed experts are saying it is become a new major environmental crisis. They are boldly expressing that hundreds of thousands are lost and thrown away everyday. Perhaps mandated face coverings should be biodegradable?

With all this being said, the derivative of my conclusion is that wearing a face covering is not really that big of a deal. If you are protecting someone or by chance slowing things down you are doing a good thing. I don’t think we should place a right or wrong on this issue.

There is not a forcible law that says you have to wear one. You are not going to be ticketed or thrown in jail. You are just replacing the shopping cart. In doing this you are removing a slight sliver of fear from the masses of society that are so quick to follow the flow of panic and feel afraid. - dbA


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