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Thoughts for Thursday (08/19/2021)- Thoughts on Masks- Part 2


Good morning to everyone on this fine “Thoughts for Thursday” morning.

I know I’ve been seriously delinquent on my “TfT” (Thoughts for Thursday- Abbreviation Style!) posts in recent weeks and will offer a full refund to any subscribers who are dissatisfied with their service and have actually paid any money which sounds like a great idea now that I think of it, but since I haven’t seen a dime from any of the TfT Posts, would be highly unlikely.

I suppose I could start a TfT Membership Club that for a reasonable monthly fee would offer more frequent and personal “Thoughts” available only for TfT Insiders? Then you could be privy to special Uncle Steve Insights (UCIs?) like, “damn, my back hurts this morning” and “crap, my feet really hurt today” and other super interesting revelations. I could even feature a “Guess What Part of my Body Hurts Now?- Sponsored by Palos Health”.

These actually sound like really great ideas, I’ll update you on any progress here, but unfortunately, I’ve gotten a bit off-track. So, to continue-

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I often sit down to write my TfTs (I really like this Abbreviation! It saves a lot of time writing out the full “Thoughts for Thursday”, but I guess this long part in the parentheses probable takes up way more space than it saves, so I guess I should stop making these comments so much, huh?), I’m often not sure what I want to write about.

Sometimes, I have a notion what I want to comment on and other times I have no clue whatsoever as I gaze randomly around my office searching for inspiration. Some might think this is a sign of ADHD, but I have never- Oh, look! A Puppy!

Now, what was I saying?

Oh, yeah, other times I start with an idea in mind and end up on a tangent that I had not anticipated. Sort of like now with the whole TfT abbreviation thing and the excitement of the Membership Club and UCIs I need to work out. That’s when I realize it might be time to get to a point of some kind before I lose the 6 people who might have been so bored as to read this far.

So, I’ll try to begin again with an idea I have had in mind from the start.

Masks.

Now hold on, I know what you’re thinking: “You gotta be freakin’ kidding me! I read through 5 paragraphs of this nonsense only for you to start up with the Masks Crap again!”

I feel you Fam. (I’m trying to add some hipness to my writing, I hope you like it).

That’s exactly what I thought when Chicago announced the mandate that starts tomorrow: “I’ve gone through 18 months of this nonsense and you’re starting up with the Masks Crap again!”

Everything Old is New again, except for me, I’m still just Old.

I wondered what I thought the first time around, so I wanted to go back through my Thoughts for Thursday (TfT) posts, almost back to the beginning- April 30th, 2020.

Seems like a lifetime ago.

I wanted to see what my Thoughts were early on and wondered if after all this time, how have they changed?

Back then, I wrote:

(“Beginning tomorrow, we will require anyone wanting to enter Computer Greeks to be wearing a Face Mask or Face Covering of some type. Calm down, I'm not finished. I realize this is a point of contention for many people. Some believe that the coverage of the Pandemic is overblown, and the media are promoting fear for the sake of ratings like that would ever happen. Those holding to this opinion feel that the “Stay at Home Order” and the limits placed on their personal freedom are an example of the government overstepping their power, again- as if our leaders would ever want that. Others feel that the safeguards in place are reasonable and need to be enacted to provide all of us with the best possible outcome to a terrible situation. the choice we need to make seems clear, even for those who don't agree they are necessary. Early on during the initial spread of this nightmare, someone said something that stuck with me and I'm sure I'm not getting the quote exactly right, but it was to the effect- We may never know if we overreacted with the restrictions and measures being put into place, but we will most certainly know if we did too little.”)

There it is. How I felt 16 months ago.

Any changes on how I feel today?

Honestly, an Awful Lot and Not Much at the same time. Like all of you, I’m exhausted with this. I don’t want to write about Masks again. I don’t want to hear and read the words “Pandemic” and “Mandate” and “Worcestershire” (I hate that word! No one can pronounce it or spell it correctly- get rid of it).

Back then, we were fighting over whether the Pandemic was real or not, whether masks were effective or not, and whether the actions being taken were justified or a violation of our rights.

Today, we get to add “Vaccine” to our list of “Please don’t bring this up, it’s just going to start a fight” topics to avoid.

So, what have we learned in all this time? Not much it seems.

We’re still fighting over wearing a mask. Literally fighting. Like, punch a teacher in the face because you don’t want your child to be forced to wear a mask to school, fighting. Attack a business owner for asking you to wear a mask before entering their business, that kind of fighting. Still watching some deny the Pandemic even exists! (I don’t know anyone who died so it must be fake). And those who believe being asked to consider how their choices may hurt others is a violation of their Freedom. I guess being Free means being Free to be an Asshat to some?

How sad. How shameful.

How did you like it when all of the businesses were closed and your kids had to do remote learning? Wasn’t that super fun? Oh, you don’t seem to remember that? I’m assuming you don’t, otherwise needing to put on a mask wouldn’t seem so bad by comparison.

You want to argue that the school has no right to require mask wearing? - well first off, it’s the State requiring it- so give the teachers and staff a break.

And second, are you kidding? The schools have dress codes, approved meals and snacks, codes of conduct, and existing Vaccinations to allow you to enroll your kids to start with. But the mask thing is the tipping point?

Why not protest that the Football Team won’t let you child play without a helmet on? “It should be the parents’ decision!” “The Government is trying to Control Us!”. “Helmets don’t do anything! Pro football players still get concussions and CTE!”.

Sound absurd? Well, that’s exactly how you sound when you argue needing to do something as simple and considerate as wearing a mask. You sound like a little dopey baby with a poopy diaper. Try not to do that, it’s not a good look.

My position on this has been unchanged- I don’t give a damn what you think about the effectiveness of wearing a mask. I’m far too busy and exhausted to get into a debate with everyone who has an opinion about the subject and yes, I’m very impressed by the research you’ve done on the topic (reposting Facebook lies is not research by the way).

It isn’t too much to ask. It never has been.

Don’t like wearing a mask? Me neither- wear it anyway.

Don’t think the mask does anything? Interesting idea- wear it anyway.

Think this is a Government plot to slowly erode the rights of the people and control you for nefarious reasons and that the Vaccine implants a tracking chip into everyone? Seek help. I mean seriously, 1-800-getsomehelpyoureallyneedit.com

Back to my post from April of 2020, I also wrote:

(“Eventually this will get better. We will tell stories to our kids and grandkids about 2020 that they will never believe and that will be something to look forward to. But we need to get there first. So, to sum up: Need Mask - Mask Good - No Mask, No Entry even when the Big Metal Door is supposed to yield to your mighty pull. I have placed another necessary barrier in your way that I know you can overcome. I believe in you!”}

Have my Thoughts on this changed?

Well, sure. We need to make the story to our grandkids about 2020 a bit longer and add 2021 to the tale and I guess the part about believing in you.

I still believe in you- the vast majority of our customers who give me hope and encouragement every day. Those who say kind words and are patient and understanding, who express their gratitude for us being open and available to help with their problems.

You people make it possible for us to be here at all and I am always so thankful for the 25 years (and counting) you have allowed us to be here.

To the others? I don’t believe in you so much anymore. My faith and hope have waned. I had thought that time and reason and hindsight would enlighten those who are so angry and vindictive as to take out their frustrations on others and that they would begin to change.

Instead, 624,000 deaths in the US means very little to some people and nothing will change the way they behave.

To be clear, I completely understand concerns over a Vaccine that hasn’t gone through the same testing we would normally see. I even understand the notion that someone wearing a mask that has been in their car for 4 months might not be the most effective barrier to the spread of the virus. My issue isn’t with anyone for these thoughts, I’ve had them all myself.

My issue is with those who choose to hurt others for not thinking the same way they do. Who scream at and berate and physically assault anyone for being asked to mask up.

There is no room in my mind or my heart to begin to understand you and I will not waste my time trying. I hope that you will see the error of your existence before it is too late.

The Uncle Steve from 14 months ago was tired and stressed out, but still hopeful that we would all come out of this in the end. The Uncle Steve from today is more tired, more stressed out, and a little less hopeful that the end of all this is in sight, but still doing his best every day.

Just like all of you.

Stay Hopeful, Stay Safe and Stay Well, Uncle Steve


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