Column like I see 'em - 2020 is the year of being stupid on purpose


By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner & Press

There is an old saying that suggests, “You can’t fix stupid.” Well, apparently you can’t make it put on a tiny cloth mask either.

Recently, several events took place across Canada in protest of mandatory mask wearing policies being implemented due to COVID-19. According to the organizers, the movement, known as Hugs over Masks is fighting for the restoration of their liberties and way of life. The group via its social media platforms says that it is dedicated to removing lockdown measures its members believe are “unnecessarily harming Canadians.”…Oh sweet baby Jeebus, where do I even begin with these clowns!?

A PhD in me, me, ME!

I’m genuinely trying to understand their perspective here, believe me, I am. People don’t just get up out of their homes to protest without some ironclad reason, right? Because, otherwise, they’d just be idiots with too much spare time on their hands. So okay, let’s take a look at the arguments on the obviously controversial subject of thin layers of cloth.

“Why should I have to put on a mask that potentially impedes my breathing?” A fair point if you are wearing a plastic bag over your entire head, but I would not suggest that as your first mask option. Fortunately, the majority of masks available seem to be made of other, more breathable materials. Those masks are not air tight, as oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules are small enough to easily pass through the covering. If masks made it hard to breathe, surgeons, nurses and any and all varieties of lab techs and scientists would all be dead. 

“Medical conditions prevent many people from wearing a mask in public.” Most up-to-date research indicates that there are no known medical conditions, including asthma, that would prevent a person from wearing these types of masks. The only ones who could truly claim a medical defence are those with severe skin conditions upon their face.

As well, people with mental health conditions, such as severe claustrophobia or PTSD, might have psychological reasons for not wearing a mask. So, for the most part, if you are well enough to be out in public, you are well enough to mask up...And sorry, but stupidity is not yet a diagnosed medical condition. 

You’re not the boss of me!

“Wearing a mask infringes on my personal freedoms.” And there it is! The actual reason most of these individuals are up in arms over the creation of mask wearing policies. They genuinely believe that this is a gateway to fascism. 

Well darn-it, they’ve cracked the code and caught us. Obviously, many of the world’s  governments, in partnership with thousands of doctors, nurses and scientists, have conspired with the “liberal media,” who are paid off, of course, by the illuminati, to make you believe you must wear fabric on your face.

Or perhaps it’s something else. Maybe it’s just a case of our society having a group of people who always think they’re the smartest one in the room. And why? Because they think they’ve watched all the relevant T.V. and surfed all the relevant internet. Because that one actor or actress that they liked from that one movie we can’t remember the name of right now, tweeted out their expertise, and it happens to correspond with the individuals’ opinion. These are people who prefer to trust Dr. Twitter and Nurse Facebook for their medical advice.  

We need to be in this together

As of Wednesday, July 29, the world has passed the milestone of just over 17 million COVID-19 cases and we’re still arguing with doctors and other health experts about masks. It’s just two ear loops and a little bit of fabric. You’re not wearing it 24 hours a day, just when you’re going out and about for that 15 minutes at the store or the coffee shop. That’s it.

We all know it won’t completely end COVID-19, but if we all do this together, we can mitigate the risk. Fewer transmissions, fewer positive tests and a shot at, maybe, just maybe, some version of normal.

Ignorance is not knowing the information. Stupidity, meanwhile, is an unwillingness or outright hostility towards learning the information. It’s 2020 and we need to fix that, stupid.

Disclaimer: Column like I see ‘em is a monthly opinion column for the Neepawa Banner & Press. The views expressed are the writer’s and are not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press.