I’ve become that woman. The one who when seeing someone not wearing a mask while shopping, will call you out on it. I take my cue from Dr. Laura Popper, a Manhattan pediatrician, who posted photos of maskless New Yorkers, publicly shaming them. Her public service announcement garnered attention from a local newspaper, she’s officially the Mask Monitor.
Yesterday, I took my grands food shopping while they’re visiting at our lake house in northeast Pennsylvania. No matter that the refrigerator and freezer are overflowing; I wanted to ensure they had the right brands of cereal, yogurts, breads they prefer.
We wore masks. As did everyone in the store, except one man we encountered in the cereal aisle whose mask dangled around his neck like a loosened necktie. While I’ve seen maskless people before, I think the fact I was with the grands, brought the whole issue into greater focus. My blood boiled; how dare this jerk toy with their health? With their futures?
I bluntly said, “Put on your mask.”
He grinned and pulled it below his nose. Not good enough. I countered, “Cover your nose, too. We’re all trying hard to do our bit, you’re putting my kids’ and my health at risk.” I walked away, steaming, and sad that my grands had to see me get angry.
Unless parents want to keep home schooling, unless local businesses want to continue curbside only sales, and restaurants want to be limited to outdoor, six-foot apart dining, and unless we no longer want to travel, attend concerts and theater, or go to a doctor’s office or get a haircut without wearing masks, Covid 19 won’t go away too soon.
Mask shaming will be my mission. It should be everyone’s.