Put Your Mouth Away!

Just because you’re sick doesn’t mean I need to be.

Dearest readers, I come to you today a humble supplicant in the middle of this flu season. As I type this, I am lying in bed, soaring upon the eagle’s wings of NyQuil PM Cold and Flu (not sponsored), and I am here to beg you to start wearing a mask when you’re sick. I don’t care what you think about COVID or masks or politics – I just care that I keep running into people in public who are actively sick and have apparently no problem coughing and sneezing on everyone else. 

Me, languishing in my sickbed. Photo by AJ Quanbeck.

I think the politicization of masks with the initial spread of COVID – my own opinions on that aside – has unfortunately made masking controversial, even in situations where it wasn’t pre-COVID. There is nothing political about the fact that if you are sick, no matter what with, you can spread that sickness by coughing, sneezing, and breathing on other people. So if you aren’t able to always stay home when you’re sick – I know I have to drag myself to class and work sometimes even when I’d rather languish with some Emergen-C – please at least wear a mask when you’re out and about to help stop the spread of sickness. 

Not only can things like COVID and the flu be life-threatening for people with disabilities and compromised immune systems, but COVID is unfortunately rising in the FM area as of late. We seem to have all forgotten that the effects of long COVID still aren’t something we know much about, and I personally know people who are now permanently disabled due to its effects. All of that aside, though, it’s just common courtesy. Being sick is miserable. There’s no reason to compound the suffering in the world when you can do a lot to keep people well with the relatively simple act of wearing a mask when you’re ill. It looks like it’s going to be a pretty nasty winter, so we might as well do what we can to help each other through it.

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