Mask Rage

A US-centric post. Once we figured out how to protect ourselves from COVID, i.e. vaccination, masking, and distancing, we brought the virus way down. In mid-July of 2021 the infection rate was the lowest it had been since the plague started peaking, with fewer than three quarters of a million testing positive. If and only if US-ians are not collectively stupid, the current infection rate would have been even lower than that in mid-July of 2022, but in fact it was nearly four million, soon surpassing even that number. Alas, there is a yokelish tendency to stop using antibiotics early, to accelerate towards red lights in case they turn green, to cherry pick half-remembered anecdotes instead of applying knowledge and reason. This super-quitting (I’ll post about that later; you get the idea) led the royal us (not the good folk who vax, mask and distance) back to walking around killing people (WAKP) just as soon as we almost stopped killing them. While selecting for ever more infectious strains.

What is wrong with these Red Qs and Q-like Blues? The Qs I “understand” – they interpret knowledge as damage and rout around it. Perhaps they suffer constitutive low-level poisoning, from lead, ag chemicals, over-processed foods, or perhaps their cultural memetics would be similarly negative-sum even if imposed upon the neurologically non-pathological. The Q-like Blues blithely joining in on the WAKP I can’t understand, but perhaps this phenomenon is similar to the trend within the mainstream Democratic Party to present as right-wing to attract campaign funding, rather than adopt and encourage the non-fascist factions. I’m guessing there is some form of denialism going on; certainly denialism arises in all quarters. Also sloth – sick out of sight, sick out of mind? Actual honesty about not giving a shit? Peer pressure surely figures into the phenomenon.

Here’s how I have to shop now. First, I go into the local megamart around 3:00 pm. That seems to be when the least number of people are there. Mask up and take a deep breath before entering through the double-automatic door tunnel, usually between two DLMBs (doorknob-licking mouth-breather, courtesy Charlie Stross), while slowly exhaling; once inside try to find a position six feet (n.b. US-centric) from others before having to inhale again. Instead of visiting each station needed to select product, I end up circling the store several times, looking for temporary opportunities to dash in and grab what I need. Often, someone will barge in right beside me; I back away and either go on to another station to return later, or pause in case it looks like they will be quick. If a lane I want to go down is blocked, aim for a different station and try again on my second time around. Fuck the self-checkout superspreader cluster. Fuck the cashier lanes with MBDL cashiers and customers. Fuck almost everybody. I try to get in and out within 15 minutes. Fuck these people.

To manage my doodling-while-drinking-four-espresso-shots habit (technically, this is actually work), I show up (masked) at my local coffeeshop just after the morning rush, go in and order, go out and wait, go back in (masked) to pick up when the drink is ready, then go back outside to sit and doodle. When inclement weather sets in, I will have to stop visiting the coffeeshop regularly.

I will dine out if it can be managed the way I drink my espresso. When outside dining becomes impractical, I will stop doing it until next Spring.