What I Want The Anti-Maskers To Know
Imagine you could have a place in preventing a tragic incident from occurring. Think about how wonderful it could be if you could prevent a mother from losing her child or a wife from losing her husband. How wonderful would it be to stop someone from being without a paycheck for weeks?
Close your eyes and think of a world where you could, without even knowing someone, stop them from being on life support. A grandmother can live longer and you can have a part in that.
And all you have to do is put yourself aside for a moment. It's that easy.
Caring about each other
I have watched dear friends lose their parents far too early recently. Grandchildren are saying goodbye to grandparents way too soon, years before they were supposed to. Yet I still see so much anger in wanting to stop the loss of life.
When you say you "shouldn't have to wear a mask" you are indirectly telling me, the mother of a child with a terminal illness, that your desire to be right is far greater than the life of my child. You are saying that the people with chronic illnesses matter, but not as much as your need to feel vindicated.
I hear you. I hear your words and I see it right there on your face when I am shopping. When everyone else in the store can put themselves second for a few minutes, you feel the need to walk around freely, letting us all know in your own way that you are right and we are wrong.
CFers are used to wearing masks
My son, who has cystic fibrosis, is 12 now. He has worn a mask to many different places for most of his life, such as in the doctor's office, in airports, around sick people, and when he is feeling sick himself. Not once has he ever refused. From a young age, we have taught him that masks keep him and those around him safe. They keep him healthy and they prevent so many different things from entering his body. For you, it just seems like a piece of cloth that is unnecessary--but to us, and most of those in the CF community, it is a tool to keep our loved ones safe.
When COVID-19 brought on isolation and stay at home orders, none of it was a stranger to the CF community. This is how so many already lived their lives. Masks were already stockpiled in homes, hand sanitizer was already bought in bulk, masks were already in cars and cabinets. This is the life that people with chronic illnesses and long-term illnesses know and live. This is the life that extends their life and can give them a better quality of life.
The next time that you are out in public, running errands or having dinner out, look around. Those people that you see around you are loved by family and friends. They are trusting you, and the rest of the people sharing space together, that you are helping decrease the hospitalization numbers and to do your small part.
Are you a patient or a caregiver?