Debunking Every Terrible Excuse For Not Wearing a Face Mask During the Pandemic
I won’t say I have pandemic fatigue. That’s not true. It’s more accurate to say I have adults-who-act-like-toddlers-during-a-pandemic fatigue. I was about to write a piece on how Kindergarteners could act more civil than adults during a pandemic (because it’s true). Then I saw Yael Wolfe’s awesome article that brilliantly covered that topic. So, I pivoted a bit.
Instead, I decided to practically debunk the most common excuses people use when they refuse to wear a mask during this deadly, tragic pandemic.
Terrible Excuse #1: “Wearing a mask takes away my freedom.”
This comes from a strange and completely false narrative going around. It claims that America is a totally free nation where citizens can do whatever they want. This is just blatantly untrue. Need proof? There are already laws about your clothing, your driving practices, and even your beverage consumption that take away your “freedom” — but you obey them daily. I’m referring, of course, to U.S. laws that take away: your freedom to be naked in public, your freedom to drive without wearing your seatbelt, and your freedom to consume open alcoholic beverages in public (unless you live in Vegas). Yet, I don’t see people protesting and getting upset about those freedoms being taken from them. That’s because freedom doesn’t equal disrespect or a lack of responsibility. So wear your clothes, put on your seatbelt, don’t drink your booze in the middle of the street — oh, and wear a damn mask! No excuse.
Terrible Excuse #2: “Wearing a mask is too tight and uncomfortable.”
Try a different mask, then. At this point, there is probably an entire multi-billion dollar industry dedicated to mask-wearing. You have options. If all the face mask options are not working, then wear a face shield instead. A mask is much more comfortable than breathing through a ventilator tube. No excuse.
Terrible Excuse #3: “Masks don’t work, so why wear one anyway?”
You cherry-picked science to come up with that excuse. Take a look at the other science here, here, here, and here that says masks absolutely help prevent the spread. I don’t care if masks only lower the chances of transmitting the virus by 25%. When 230,000 people have died in under 1 year, then that small percentage still matters! Also, please stop acting as though every preventative measure is supposed to be 100% effective. No one makes that claim about prevention of any sort. You still use a condom, don’t you? Exactly. Now you get it. No excuse.
Terrible Excuse #4: “There’s no law that says I have to wear a mask.”
There’s no law about wiping your ass after taking a dump either, but you do it anyway. It’s for the health and safety of yourself and those around you. Same thing with a mask. No excuse.
Terrible Excuse #5: “We don’t wear masks for the regular flu, and this is the same as the regular flu.”
Well, no, actually it’s not the same as the regular flu. The CDC reported an estimated 34,200 flu deaths from the 2018/19 season and an estimated 22,000 flu deaths from the 2019/20 season. Contrast that with the CDC report that, as of October 15th, the estimated deaths from COVID-19 has already reached 216,025. That is over six times the mortality rate of the typical flu season!
Also, we don’t wear masks for the seasonal flu because it’s not quite as contagious and we already have a vaccine plus therapeutics to treat it. But, honestly, it’s probably not a bad idea to wear masks for seasonal flu prevention too. No excuse.
Terrible Excuse #6: “Trump doesn’t wear a mask — and he’s the president.”
This is the worst of all excuses. First of all, Trump contracted the virus! And he wasn’t wearing a mask. So, right there you have evidence to suggest that not wearing a mask = no protection from the virus. That should be enough to debunk this bullsh*t excuse. But I will continue.
Second, why are you using Trump as a moral compass? Setting aside his title, what other behavior has Trump exhibited that proves he is a good example to follow? Meaning, what has he done to make you choose him as your role model right now? Were you impressed by his compulsive lying? Tax evasion? Galavanting with a child sex trafficker? Having an affair with a porn star? Calling Black Lives Matter “a symbol of hate”? Degrading women in public with insults? Or was it when he told another man that he could grab a woman “by the p*ssy”? Please, spare me. Just because someone has the title of the President does not automatically make his word or behaviors the highest in the lands. No excuse.
Terrible Excuse #7: “I don’t care if I get COVID since I’m young and healthy — so I have no reason to wear a mask.”
This is difficult for people in the U.S. to understand because it requires that they do something that goes against this country’s very individualistic nature: think about other people. As the saying goes, “My mask protects you. Your mask protects me.” It’s not just about you. It’s about me. It’s about your grandma. It’s about your immune-compromised neighbor. Think outside of yourself for once. It’s not about you. No excuse.
Terrible Excuse #8: “Dr. Anthony Fauci told the public, ‘Don’t wear a mask’ at one point in the pandemic — so I’m just following his words.”
This statement is actually true. Anthony Fauci did say that at the beginning of the pandemic — and now it’s being paraded around, out of context. So, let’s slide it back into its true origins to debunk the absurdity of this excuse.
A Newsweek article goes into the details, but suffice to say that Fauci’s statement was made at the beginning of this pandemic when our nation was swirling with uncertainty. He made the comment mostly because he was trying to prevent the American public from panicking. He knew they might swarm the stores, buy up all mask supplies, and then leave none for the most critical people who needed them at the time — the healthcare workers.
He had a very valid point. And if you think that Fauci was unfounded in his fears, then I beg you to remember the great toilet paper debacle that was March 2020 in the USA. People panicked. People overbought. That left some people without toilet paper for weeks. Desperate, they wiped their asses with paper towels, baby wipes, and all sorts of household goods, then flushed them down toilets and clogged up sewer systems. Remember that?
Ok, good, then I’ve made my point. I would add, as well, that at the time of Fauci’s comment, much of the nation was under very strict lockdowns, and there was very little socializing outside the home. This would have lessened the need for masks anyway.
Lastly, it is unfair to use one statement made months ago at the beginning of a worldwide crisis as your excuse. Dr. Fauci has literally been recorded multiples times in the last few months saying that his stance has changed. He now encourages everyone in public to wear a mask and practice social distancing! NO EXCUSE!
In Conclusion: Please — for the love of yourself and others — wear your mask!
Please, I am begging you — stop with your terrible excuses. Just wear a mask and practice social distancing. Perhaps you have some legitimate excuse for not wearing a mask. If I did not clearly debunk it here, then I want to hear it. Please write me a private message or put it in the comments. Here’s my promise. I will update this piece to include your legitimate reason for refusing to wear a mask during a deadly pandemic if I cannot debunk it. I’m sincerely interested to know your thoughts as I’ve yet to find one valid reason. Sadly, most excuses seem like defiant behavior reminiscent of toddlerhood.
We’re better than that. We’re adults. Let’s start acting like it.
Read another related piece about absurd excuses for not wearing masks.