How to turn a Mask Mandate on its ear: PLAY WITH IT!

“They” want to mask us, muzzle us, muffle us. Are we going to let “them” do it? This is the moment of truth. And we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

This morning, puppy Shadow and I were on our usual walk when we ran across one of the old women who used to come to our Green Acres Village Community Dinners.

She said she had been thinking about us, grinning, as she rode up on her bike. “Hey,” I said. “We’re going to hold a small dinner tonight on the patio.” “Want to come?”

“Oh no, no,” she said, shuddering, followed by “Oh! don’t get too close!” as I walked towards her.

I was crestfallen. “You take this seriously?” I said, stunned.

“Oh yes! People are dying!”

“Well, yes, they are always dying! So what. They’re dying of the flu too.”

I shrugged my shoulders in dismay and walked on.

She made another loop around her apartment complex parking lot and came back to me.

“You mean you DON’T take it seriously?” she said, dumbfounded.

“No, not at all. I think the government is using it to demoralize its citizens.”

She looked incredulous. As if she had never heard of anyone not believing in the hype!

And maybe she hasn’t. As I recall, her apartment has no internet.

Had she made one more loop around, we could have met again. I look back and regret that we did not. On the other hand, I’m sure my attitude started some kind of a revolution in her very active, naturally contrarian mind. Especially because she is probably the wisest, funniest, most individualistic crone I know in this town! Had I been asked to guess, I would have been sure that she would realize that some kind of hype was going on. Wrong again!

I continue to be stunned by my own apparently unwarranted optimism.

In this morning’s local paper: Monroe County is going to be mandating masks “in public” very soon. They are still working out the details of how enforcement would proceed, and plan a press conference on Friday.

Even so, you bet. I will not be wearing a mask “in public,” i.e., outside, when there is plenty of unpeopled space around me.

And now I see that Kroger, Sams Club and Walmart are all going to require masks.

AND — for a glimmer of hope — I see that the governor of Georgia is going to stop this nonsense in his state.

For me, the ever increasing mask cover-up has become so ludicrous that I increasingly want to play with it. In other words, let’s turn the deep state intent of masking and distancing us on its ear. Instead of keeping us apart, let’s wear masks (where “required”) to convey meaning, and thus display our individuality to each other even more than when unmasked. Meme masks to encourage interaction between strangers that wouldn’t have met otherwise!  That’s how I’m thinking now. The boomerang effect.

A paper mask with “SHEEP” scrawled on it? Or “OBEDIENT”?  Or “ABSURD!”?

A cloth mask that looks like the skeleton of a face?

A mask made out of cheesecloth?

Hmmm . . . The second mask IS made of (layered) cheesecloth, but neither of the above masks feel particularly playful, and I’d really like to see a mask with just a single layer of cheesecloth, demonstrating the appearance of compliance along with the obvious absurdity of masking.

Here’s a good one and would probably encourage interaction. Her eyes tell the truth.

How about this?

Wait a minute. I thought it said “Decrease Disease Resistance by 45%” and “Decrease health by 20 points.” Would have been much better, because of course it’s true. The amount of bacteria and CO2. that collect behind a mask if worn continuously for hours, or worn during aerobic exercise, is off the charts.

Please, if you make a meme mask and wear it, send a pic of it along with any commentary about your interactions with others and I will put up another post on this subject.

Meanwhile, pay attention to what the New England Journal of Medicine says:

And let’s applaud this brave store sign owner.

Oh wow. Just came across this:

Maybe optimism is warranted after all. As Q said, at the end of his last post on July 2:

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16 Responses to How to turn a Mask Mandate on its ear: PLAY WITH IT!

  1. Sylvia says:

    There is a young Dutch historian who was kicking ass at Davos last year or was it the year before by emphasizing the rich need to pay their taxes in a panel that was trying to discuss supposedly other solutions. Anyway he has now written a book that I still am to read but you might be interested in, Ann. There is an English translation called ‘Humankind’. The author’s name is Rutger Bregman.
    It’s basically about how most people are good at heart, contrary to what those in power seem to want us to believe (divide and conquer).
    There is a lovely piece in the Guardian retelling one of his chapters, a true story about a group of youngsters stranded on an island some decades ago, and actually surviving harmoniously, unlike the book lord of the flies.

    • Ann Kreilkamp says:

      Wow, thanks Sylvia. I will check these out.

      Once as a graduate assistant back in the late ’60s, I taught a class wherein I assigned two books: Summerhill, and Lord of the Flies, just to provoke a discussion on the real essence of human nature. It sure worked!

  2. Marty says:

    Be aware of this disclaimer published later.

    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2020836

  3. thymia17 says:

    Good to see this – I personally wear masks inside stores/library, not outside, for some time. A favorite shamanic artist in UK, Imelda Almqvist, pointed out shamans traditionally wore masks – and showed her beautiful raven mask. Reclaim the mask! My area is ramping up the fear again, but I now have my antidote sources.

  4. Social Justice says:

    It hurts no one, it saves lives (witness New Zealand and its fabulous woman prime minister and most Asian countries, which care about their citizens and have not lost 130.000 lives or anywhere near the % equivalent based on population size), it’s courteous to your neighbor. If you would get outside your bloated pro-Trump nationalistic racist ego for 2 seconds you would be able to get what’s happening in your beloved libertarian states right now. It’s not ordinary flu, stupid, when thousands of young people throng bars and then get sick, passing it on to the waiters, bartenders, everyone they run into. And it’s not only older people—like you—who die or suffer debilitating side effects that persist for months. Young people are dying and even experiencing severe mental impairment. If you even had the guts to go talk to some of these people…you are almost right in one respect, that it’s a consequence of enormous human planetary damage. But tending your own garden ain’t going to heal the world.

  5. James says:

    Here ya go – a very pointed mask I saw on Teespring. Would go well with the rest of your ‘public service announcement’ ensemble (hat, tee shirt, etc)

    https://teespring.com/wear-wake-up-mask?pid=972&cid=103976

    • Ann Kreilkamp says:

      Fantastic! Thanks James. How ’bout creating your own ensemble? And would love to see it modeled on you. Let’s use fun to unify this fractured land. Such an easy solution! And as permaculturists have always said: “If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing.” Why? Because it loses energy quickly. Fun replenishes us, rather than exhausts us.

      • James says:

        I made myself one that said “This mask is as worthless as my Governor”. It’s basic, but it works. I’m not artistic enough to create a fancy design like that ‘mask in a mask’ one.

        • Ann Kreilkamp says:

          Have you worn it yet? And if so, any interesting encounters?

          You’re right, the other mask is an aesthetic delight. I think masks that have been obviously scrawled on, rather than printed neatly, also render their own kind of communication. The possibilities here, seem to be expanding moment by moment, at least in my mind!

          • James says:

            Wore it to the grocery store the other day. I got about 50% of the people who passed me giving me a thumbs up, or ‘love your mask and I agree he sucks’, about 25% were either oblivious or not interested in engaging, and about 25% were karens hrummping and giving me dirty looks, but they didn’t have the nerve to say anything. I could see they were very pissed that they couldn’t do their usual shaming of non-mask wearers.

          • Ann Kreilkamp says:

            Love it. Thank you! May I ask what is the nature of the town you live in, or your section of the town that draws those particular shoppers? I know this “evidence” is all anecdotal, but hey, let’s have fun!

  6. James says:

    I live in a small bedroom community about 20 mi south of one of the larger cities in central NC. It used to be heavily conservative and rural, but has been overrun in the last 15 years or so with transplants from elsewhere who work in the nearby large city.

    Also, please check your gmail address listed in the “Contact” section of this blog. I sent you something.

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