Nick's Journal
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2021-02-17 18:06:59 (UTC)

The Good, the Bad and the Non-Mask Wearers

I have to say that, on the whole, and between two vastly different continents, people seem to be adhering to the mask mandate. I would say that, at least from my personal experience, that the adherence rate is somewhere around 99%.

I am of course not including the following persons in the above percentage: (1) children, (2) teenagers, and (3) adults who passive-aggressively wear a mask but only cover their mouth and not their nose. in my opinion, all three of those persons suffer from the same mental handicap of not having a full functioning brain. the former two are in the process of developing a fully functional brain (on the whole) and the latter had their chance and now are stuck with whatever partial use they can muster. we should be happy if any of the aforementioned triad even remotely considers to make the effort to abide by society's norms. whether or not we should hold them to higher expectations is another story altogether.

so discounting the 3 groups I just mentioned, out of all the close to thousands of people I have come into contact with in public over the past year, I have really only seen 2 people defiantly refuse to wear their mask.

the first was in Austria. he was this bald-headed slav dude. he had the weird pregnant woman duck walk that most slavs seem to have where they kind of teeter on the back of their heels, jutting out their hips in an auspicious manner. firmly sitting on said hip, or tightly strung over their beer belly is a man purse.

so this guy walks into the subway car with his mask on and, upon sitting down, he pulls his mask down around his chin. the lady across from him mustered an exasperated sigh, flung her hands up and moved over to my side of the car. the guy, whose eyes seemed to indicate that the stereotypical penchant for potato fermented beverages was well alive in him, let out a self-satisfied smug grin. then he started looking around the subway car. as someone who has been in rehab and dealt with a lot of alcoholics and drug addicts I knew that look around way too well. it was a "who wants some?" look.

so aside from the sociopath who was obviously under the influence of something, there has only been one other person who as skirted the mask mandate. she too seemed to be suffering from some sort of mental condition.

it was in America this time, in a grocery store. there I was standing next to a young gentleman who, as I glanced at the sign to my self, appeared to be the dairy manager. as I was trying to figure out which cream cheese I wanted I noticed a woman sidle up to his right. this woman had a grocery cart filled with three cardboard crates, one stacked upon the other. the first had a bunch of canned veggies, the second had some sort of something in mason jars, and the third cardboard crate was filled with nothing but Kraft Mac and cheese. trundling next to her was a very pale, seemingly malnourished girl that was maybe 6 to 10 (I don't know I'm terrible at judging a kid's age).

neither the girl, nor the lady were wearing masks. now, as I mentioned above, I hold no judgment on the girl. the mother, however, was a different matter. it wasn't even that she had the mask on. her elbow or something where we could dance the sordid dance of "oh I'm sorry, I must have forgotten it, oh here it is on my arm, I'm such a klutz! ahaha, isn't that funny and how about this weather?"

nope. she was going full commando.

the dairy manager, who I could tell had already glanced over looked over at (or maybe just through) me with a look that would support the increase of the minimum wage to $30/hr. his eyes mustered a plaintive expression to the heavens, then down at his feet. he sucked in air through his mask and turned around to confront the lady.

"ma'am, I'm sorry, but did you forget your mask? if so, we have plenty at the customer service center for you free of charge!"
an admirable start to what could only be seen as a potentially losing situation that he was confronted with. he gave her the benefit of the doubt and went with the mantra that my old boss always had, "never ascribe to malfeasance that which you can chalk up to negligence or just general stupidity."

the lady, however, seemed to have been waiting for this confrontation her entire, miserable life, "oh no, I'm quite fine. you see, I'm not sick, so I don't need a mask. I WON'T wear a mask. I DON'T need a mask. Did you know that the mask actually makes you sicker? you're breathing in all your own germs!"

the guy, who at this stage of the confrontation was winning points with me for his negotiating skills retorted, "I am not sure of the specifics, but I do know that there is a state law requiring you to wear a mask in all grocery stores."

"well I guess I'm just not one who just blindly follows the rules. I don't just DO whatever someone tells me to. especially not the government! just because everybody else is doing it? PAH!" she responded with a self-certain air of righteousness.

"but you wear clothes and you stop at red lights." at this point I was already writing this dairy manager's name in on the upcoming ballot for governor.

the lady's eye crooked up a bit, ah, a formidable match, "yes," she began to sputter a bit, "but those things make sense, you know? I just don't do something just because I'm TOLD to, you have to give me the evidence, where is the evidence?" with this final rejoinder she put her hands up next to her shoulders like the lady justice herself holding her weights and looked around as if the evidence may possibly be hidden behind the yogurt.

at this point the dairy manager had exhausted his repertoire of negotiating with crazy people and simply said, in resignation, "ma'am, either you please get a mask from the customer service center or I will have to ask you to leave. please do not make this more difficult than it has to be."

at this point her poor daughter was feebly pulling on her mother's sleeve saying, "see mama, I TOLD you we got to wear masks outside. you're getting us in trouble!" my heart started to break as I began to have the sinking suspicion that this poor little girl had to deal with her mother acting like this practically all the time.

"oh shush now," the lady said, swatting at her little girl as if she were a nuisance. she focused herself and went to the next logical step, "I'd like to speak to the manager."

"I am the dairy manager."

"I want THE" and with this she condescendingly twirled around with her hands outstretched, "of this entire store!"

the dairy manager sighed, although he did not seem too perturbed by the fact that he was about to pass this problem on to the manager HIMSELF and I couldn't blame him. as the diary manager went to go get THE manager, I was awkwardly left alone with the lady and her child. she had the same combative look on her face that the guy in the subway had.

there are good days and there are bad days. today and yesterday were good days. Monday was a bad day. the good days are good and I can get things done and function like a (relatively) normal human being. the bad days are bad. I am lethargic, fatigued, not motivated. I feel sad and lonely. I think too much about the past.

the bad days are the important ones in sobriety. you don't have to be super on the bad days. just manage to do something. even if it is just a little bit. when I was actively drinking I would write off bad days and throw myself into the bottle. what was the point in trying? today was going to be fucked up anyhow? but that's the horrible deaftist mentality that doesn't allow you to be the best person you can be.

I know that sounds like dramatical self-help stuff, but sometimes being the best person you can be is simply getting out of bed, taking the dog for a walk and maybe completing one or two things. if you can't do two things then just focus on one thing and do it well. but do something. if you have a good habit, then especially do it on the bad days when you don't want to. even if you just do a little bit. it is something. and something is everything when you're working on progress, not perfection.

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