I recently stumbled upon an oasis of sanity in the midst of masking madness. A place where, lo! a miracle in California has occurred: I walked into a healthcare establishment without wearing a mask…and nobody demanded that I put one on.
A tiny sign over the reception desk informed us that wearing a mask was voluntary. A word I haven’t seen much of, lately.
To go into a medical office and be invited to choose to wear a mask, instead of being denied entry without one, felt like golden manna from heaven.
Oxygen is, perhaps, a tangible, if invisible, form of manna.
This was the first public establishment I’d approached in the last nineteen months that hadn’t plastered its facade with Big Brother-esque admonitions and warnings.
Mask required for entry! Stay 6 feet apart! Use hand sanitizer!
The most surprising thing was how quickly I adapted. I accepted this demonstration of sovereign freedom and moved within it like a car slotting into a traffic lane, knowing it’s finding exactly the right route.
It just felt…normal. A place some of us, apparently, never left.
Inside, behind the chest-height counter, a petite woman greeted me with a radiant smile. A couple of patients walked by with the doctor, who cheerfully saw them out the door. I basked in their smiles, the facial version of a hug.
The visible expression of our humanity, our individuality, has been eroded by people’s willingness to smother themselves because they’ve been told to do so.
In this quietly defiant mom-and-pop office, I’m reminded that genuine authority over our bodies belongs only to us.
Apparently these business owners decided that their right to breathe freely came from a higher authority than the political machine that’s been dictating personal health decisions for far too long.
Seeing something in person has a reality, an immediacy, that viewing onscreen cannot match.
I’ve seen the videos of massive anti-mask, anti-vax demonstrations. Photos of restaurant owners who’ve elected to ignore the vax passports in New York.
But seeing grassroots rebellion myself, live, in-person, right in front of my eyes…it can’t be equaled.
When I leave after that first visit, I notice the small American flag in the window. I smile and wave at the receptionist. And I know I’ll be back to this oasis, and tell others about it, and hope that the sanity spreads throughout this fair land.
I don’t know how this business has flown under the radar of the public health watchdogs, or if anyone has complained. If a “concerned citizen” has turned them in or posted the perceived violation on social media.
It’s a given that this medical office hasn’t been granted an exemption, for as far as I know, none are allowed.
Maybe they’ve paid fines or been threatened with closure for their disobedience. I have no intention of asking, not wanting to fuel that possibility with any energy whatsoever.
I believe that one person at a time, one business at a time, can stand up for what they believe and can make the difference that counts.
Enough demonstrations of such bravery can overturn all the illegal mandates that are thrown at us. Without fanfare or importunate journalists vying for a scoop. Just businesspeople doing what they believe is right for themselves and for their customers.
Sounds like common sense to me. May that be the next pandemic to sweep the globe.