A man came jogging toward Suzi and me as we were walking a trail the other day.
Like we always do, we reached for our masks, but as he approached, he told us not to worry about it.
Although his mask was doing a wonderful impression of a chinstrap, his tone didn’t give off an anti-mask vibe, more that he’d be past us by the time we got them on.
Mine was up to my face by that point, so I just held it there.
I am aware that my chances of getting sick from randomly passing someone on a trail or a non-busy street are somewhere between infinitesimal and zero, and as time goes by and more people get vaccines, those chances will grow even longer.
But at least for the time being, I’ll keep wearing my mask when I’m near people (unless I know everyone is fully vaccinated, like when my parents come for my birthday next month), even if it’s just passing by while I’m on a walk.
“Holly shrugged. ‘Maybe we do our best not to suck, so we don’t add to mankind’s descent into madness and oblivion.’
Aaron took a very long sip of his Snapple, and then smiled at Holly’s comment before he returned his mask to the ready position.
‘I promise to do everything in my power not to suck,’ he vowed.
‘I second that motion,’ she agreed with a chuckle. ‘Maybe someone should elect us to make the world a less sucky place.’
‘Couldn’t hurt,’ Aaron quipped with a charming smile that no one could see because he chose to wear a mask to help stop the spread of a deadly virus.”
“Why Does The World Suck So Much Lately?” The Return of the Modern Philosopher
For one thing, I don’t know the situation of everyone I walk past, nor they mine, even if everything would have to go wrong at the exact same time for either of us to get infected.
But I mostly do it as a way of saying, “Sure, the chances of either of us getting sick from this brief interaction are very, very slim, but I respect you enough as a human being to put my mask on for as long as it lasts.”
And here’s the thing … it costs me absolutely nothing to do so.
Not like there should be a cost-benefit analysis to actually respecting other human beings — and at worst, wearing a mask for an extended period causes mild discomfort, may make it a little harder to breathe and fogs up my glasses if I don’t align it correctly — but in the time it takes to argue that wearing a mask is unnecessary if you’re passing someone quickly, I can probably put mine on and take it off a half-dozen times.
Consider it a very tiny contribution to making the world a less sucky place.