How to Respond to Those People NOT Wearing Masks

So you got this clunky thing over your mouth that makes it difficult to breathe, right? It’s annoying, you feel like you’re in some apocalypse movie that you vaguely remember watching once and it’s not the 2020 fashion statement you thought you’d be making.

I get it. I get you, but no matter how sucky it is, we know that if it could be saving lives it is necessary. Let’s put the annoying mask thing into perspective y’all. Albeit even when we do that and put that mask on, we find many others do not. They don’t put it on because they think they’re exercising their 1st amendment right or because they think the rules are excessive or because they don’t believe in the risk of the virus (didn’t know we were all epidemiologists now).

We know people don’t believe in global warming while the ice caps melt. We know people don’t believe in racism while black people are being lynched and hunt down in the street. We know people don’t believe that a holocaust happened while there is a legacy of pictures and stories of heartache and atrocities. We know some people don’t believe that which might not be pretty to believe.

Well, believe me this, this virus is real. All of this is real y’all.

And for those of us who put on that darn mask – and honestly there are some pretty fashionable ones out there, have you seen those? – it’s pretty annoying when there are others out there who choose not to. I think we need to say something, especially when there are local rules in a lot of our states that require a mask be worn in public spaces.

When you see someone who’s not wearing a mask, here are some suggestions of what to do when you say something:

1. Take care of yourself first when saying something to someone. Tensions can run high at this time and the response you may receive from saying something can be heightened.

2. Equip yourself with the statistics surrounding the present situation and know the local procedures. If the person is not following the rules and refuses to listen, you can at least know you tried or can escalate it to someone who is in a position to enforce the rules.

3. Read up on how to non-violently communicate and keep requests of others short and sweet. You may find that non-verbally communicating alone will do the trick. After all, not following the procedures might just be a slip up on the other person’s behalf.

4. Bring attention to a security guard. Local rules may require people use face coverings and enforcement of these rules is equally as important the rules themselves.

5. Acknowledge the social cause at stake. By requesting that others follows the rules you are enforcing safe social norms not only for yourself but for the general well being of everyone, the rule breakers included.

So, if you go out there, be safe and follow the rules. Be an advocate. Save lives. Speak up and know that that can be an active form of love too. Speak up while not becoming aggressive, while realizing the larger social well being at stake, and while being aware of the nature of our current climate. You got this.

And as always #letstalkaboutit