I keep hoping every time I bump up against the insanity of the masked masses, it will be the last time.
Perhaps today was that last time. Hope springs eternal, according to a favorite platitude.
Because frankly, these masked-versus-unmasked encounters are exceedingly uncomfortable for a peace-loving, somewhat shy and very confrontation-averse soul such as yours truly.
Apparently, not so with the other party. I think in another minute she would’ve leapt across the ten feet that separated our chairs in the clinic waiting nook, and yanked the mask up over my nose with her big meaty hands.
She snapped at me as if scolding a child. “You’re in a medical building! You’re putting sick people at risk! Are you telling me you’re okay with that?”
Oh, I thought. One of those. I could just keep quiet, but…I took a big gulp of air and spoke (I hope) with a well-modulated voice.
“Actually, what I’m not okay with is you smothering yourself under that thing. I’ve done the research, and masks just don’t work like they’re telling us they do….”
And so on and so forth. The details are blurry and I prefer it that way.
The upshot was, I hied myself off to another part of the large multi-department waiting room. A moment later my confronter stalked past to yet another section. I hopped up and returned to my original seat, next to the department where my appointment was.
A fellow patient sidled up to me before I sat down. Looking me straight in the eye, she said quietly, “Yes, yes, please come back. I totally get where you’re coming from.”
“Oh, thank you so much. People just don’t realize, do they?” She nodded. I could tell she was smiling behind the poisonous blue paper mask. My throat was tight, but I smiled back, took a seat, and waited for my heart rate to return to normal.
Oh, humanity, what the hell have we done to ourselves?
Seemingly apropos of nothing, I’m remembering the scratchy black and white image of the Hindenburg going down and the dolorous voice of that announcer moaning, “Oh, the humanity!”
I have faith that we’re not riding an Earth-sized Hindenburg, heading for fiery destruction. If I didn’t have that faith, this close encounter with a masked virago would’ve thrown me for a loop for days instead of an hour.
I am exceedingly thankful that Spirit put a kindred soul nearby during this whole episode. Just a few words with this petite brown-eyed woman brought me comfort and stability.
Now I think: oh, the humanity that we are, the humanity we can show each other, the love we can express with voice and eyes, even above the controversial mask.
There were only three people in this small alcove waiting area, and of the three, one was apparently aware and awake to my version of reality.
That she chose to literally take a stand, come to my side, and exchange words of the same language, now seems extraordinary.
Of course, if the roles were reversed, I would’ve likely done the same for her.
We don’t have to suffer the fate of the Hindenburg. I suspect that for millions of humans sharing the attitude of the virago, though, there will be times in the near future that might feel quite like that.
At that point, when such people are dazedly pulling off masks and looking with horror at their injection sites, I will think of my fellow traveler today. I’ve little doubt that both of us, in our respective circles of influence, will be busy doing connect-the-dots for those who are currently unaware.
Oh, the humanity, indeed.