Unmasking the way forward

Here’s a simple truth: a resistance wouldn’t be a resistance without some actual resistance.

I’ll confess, I’ve been entering retail premises under Jackboot Jacinda’s traffic light oppression regime without wearing a face mask.

It could be against the law but I wouldn’t know. Their laws and regulations change almost by the hour, true to any totalitarian society. And even if it is against the law, that’s actually the point.

Some places ask if I have a mask, and my reply is always the same: “I don’t need one!” Usually their response is, “you have an exemption,” which I interpret more as a statement than a question.

Some people are more concerted in their efforts to ascertain my mask status – some say I need to tell them I have an exemption while others ask to see it. Either way, it ends badly for them because they end up having another stressful day.

Here’s the thing. I won’t lie about having an exemption. The only exemption to mask wearing that I have is my own obstinance and logic. My stubbornness is what makes me tell them “I don’t need one.” It’s a sentence that can mean anything – I might have an exemption and I might not. Or I just don’t need one for any other number of reasons.

The rules around mask wearing make absolutely no sense. In fact, they’re utter nonsense. Rhetorically speaking, why should I continue to enable a bullshit rule by wearing a mask? So I don’t.

A quick visit to Thorndon New World in Wellington recently brought about a pleasant encounter at the checkout. A woman behind me in the line came too close to me and was immediately rebuked for her indiscretion. The checkout employee reacted with lightning speed. “YOU NEED TO MOVE BACK. THERE NEEDS TO BE A TWO METRE GAP!”

The woman looked at the employee and reluctantly moved back, into line.

After I finished packing my groceries (Foodstuffs making the most of the crisis by reducing staff and making you pack your food in your own bags), I turned to the woman and said the rules were stupid. She made the observation that I wasn’t wearing a mask. “No, I’m not,” I said, “And you should take yours off too?”

“I am getting really tired of this,” she said.

“Take off the mask and be free. Let me see your smile.”

And she did. And she smiled. The checkout person looked a little sheepish and asked if I’d like my receipt. “No, thanks,” I said, smiling.

In a very short time, our entire population has been conditioned to wear a mask even in circumstances that make no sense. We see people walking in the street on their own, on a breezy day, still wearing a mask as if they’re going to unwittingly walk through a lingering covid cloud.

Nobody has to wear a mask outside under Jackboot Jacinda’s orange or red light regime, but so many of us Kiwis are still doing so. When one man, who was walking alone in the street, was asked why he still had his mask on, he replied, “In solidarity with the Government!” (There’s a lost cause right there!)

The deleterious nature of this brainwashing appears almost ubiquitous amongst those in their late teens to mid-20s where masks are worn less as a health measure and more as fashion statement; as if it should be part of their everyday attire.

Mask wearing to prevent the spread of covid was described to me as effective as preventing the spread of covid as chicken wire is at stopping a handful of sand. Mask wearing when there is no covid around must end. Mask wearing outside when there is a less than zero chance of catching anything must end. Such stupidity is a scourge on our society and needs to be stopped by everyone. Now.

And if you’re asked why you’re not wearing one, then perhaps simply say, “I don’t need one; this is what resistance looks like!”


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