Op-eds

Don’t be selfish – wear a darn mask

  • Howard Feldman 2018
I have never been a natural athlete. To be fair, I’m not even an unnatural one. Because I’m no athlete at all. I exercise because I know in theory that it’s good for me not because I love it. Admittedly, I do feel good afterwards, but for me it has always been more about the social aspect than pushing myself to the physical limits.
by HOWARD FELDMAN | May 28, 2020

This makes the requirement to wear a mask potentially something that would tip the scales towards not getting out onto the road. Add the fact that I wear glasses, which fog up the minute I exhale, and the fact that I like to listen to music, so I constantly selecting songs whilst keeping my ear phones secured.

I also don’t look good in caps, but wear one anyway for religious reasons. The result is that there is so much going around my head and face, it’s a wonder I ever walk out the front door.

The prevalent medical view is that we need to wear masks to protect those around us. It’s now well documented that we are able to spread the virus well before we are aware that we are positive. Masks, we are told, protect those around us more than they do us. Which means, to put it as mildly and as sensitively as I’m able, it’s pretty darn selfish to not wear one.

This past Sunday, I walked past runners without masks. I walked past walkers without their faces protected, and I wondered what type of person is comfortable with flaunting their disregard for others?

Is it perhaps arrogance and disrespect that reduces a person to the point of being able to disassociate from the knowledge that they might be infecting those around them. I wondered if the non-mask wearers were really able to justify their choice with the conspiracy theory that governments are using masks to control us and that, well, this is just one big hoax.

I would love to be that confident, with the medical knowledge to be able to choose with such clarity. Especially when the experts are constantly gathering and assessing information. Information which indicates that the wearing of the masks is vital for the protection of others.

The irrationality of the government’s behaviour around the lockdown and the damage inflicted on the economy undoubtedly has contributed to the tendency to defy any recommendation that it might have made in this regard. But this isn’t about it. It’s not about the African National Congress or the Democratic Alliance or Cyril Ramaphosa or Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. It’s about respecting others.

To throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater in disregarding all recommendations is either foolish or self-serving.

I’m the last person to accept anything without questioning. And I have no doubt as to the response I will receive for having written this. But where the information is clear, it seems pretty darn selfish to ignore the advice. Especially when the impact is on others.

Wear a mask. Dammit!

2 Comments

  1. 2 Ralph Fell 28 May
    Greetings. I am in total agreement with your sentiments. Maybe it's me, but I find the moneyed brigade almost enjoy cooking a snook at society, simply because they deem it to be their right. The balance are simply inconsiderate numpties.
  2. 1 Eda Meltzer 06 Jun
    I ALWAYS enjoy your weekly column - in fact, some weeks, I ONLY read your article;
     I so enjoy the way u write and your use of english
    y are smart guy!
    your fan, Eda 

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