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Civil. Civility. Civilization.

Published on April 14, 2021

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Well, I’ve been in the US for a week, and I can’t say that it has been as enjoyable as I imagined it would be.

Because frankly, I am mentally in what I can best describe as an alternate reality. Really, being back in the US is very odd for me this time. Perhaps it’s because it’s been two years. Perhaps it’s because of the complete lack of common sense I am seeing regularly.

What I’m referring to is the number of people who are not only not wearing masks, but publicly refusing too, making a scene about it, which just comes across as something quite childish.

I’ve been in Port St. Lucie, FL, for the past week at my mother’s house. While I was there, I did some projects around the home for her. This meant going to Home Depot several times. And each time, I saw people openly refusing to wear masks, even though the store had a HUGE sign saying that they required every person entering the store to wear one.

Now St. Luci county, where this Home Depot was, had just cancelled its mask-wearing requirement a day before my first visit. However, Home Depot made the decision to keep it in place inside their store.

The first time I went, there was a big guy, rather aggressive, who was not wearing a mask and was actually walking beside people wearing them and challenging them for doing it. He kept calling them, “f…’ing morons.” He walked by me twice and repeated it.

The next visit involved another gentleman who was yelling at the employees trying to make him put on a mask before he entered the store. He brushed by them and stormed into the store, where he was followed around by two staff as he walked up and down the aisles. He left after 5 minutes without buying anything.

The third incidence was a case of an employee not wearing a mask. He had a sign on his neck that he had clearly written himself, that said, “STAY 6 FEET AWAY FROM ME!” Really, I kid you not.

Now honestly, does any of this make sense to you? It doesn’t make sense to me. Here is how I see it. The Home Depot made this a requirement for anyone to get the right to shop (or work) in their store. And while everyone in St. Lucie county had the right to not wear a mask in public, this PRIVATE store made the decision that they wanted people to wear masks while shopping there. So…their rights superseded the public’s right to not wear masks in public.

Second, what is this all about? Is it really so hard to wear a mask? Why has this become such a ridiculous issue? Okay, let’s say you don’t believe in the virus, or that you don’t believe that masks help stop the spread of it (both positions proven by science to be wrong), or that you don’t think anyone has the right to ask you to wear them in their presence.

Regardless of that, is it really going to hurt you to put one on? I mean really, is it going to hurt you to put one on?

Or course not. Is it a pain in the ass? Of course it is. Is it an important enough issue for you to create a difficult situation with other people? Of course it isn’t.

I’m not suggesting that you have to believe the science. I’m not suggesting that other people’s opinions are more important than yours.

I’m simply suggesting that sometimes, in a civil society, doing things you don’t want to do to make everyone around you happier, is not such a bad thing to give in on.

This pandemic has changed civilization in ways that we never imagined. And many things will be different going forward. But what it didn’t change is the need for people in a civilization to be civil.

Calling people who are wearing a mask TO PROTECT OTHERS “f…ing morons,” is not acceptable. Screaming at people doing their jobs is not acceptable. And ruining a man’s time in the tool playground of America is not acceptable.

I never would have thought that a day in Home Depot would have made me miss Ecuador. But guess what? I’ve never had anyone in Ecuador call me a f…ing moron. Not even the shopkeepers who couldn’t understand my crappy Spanish.

I’m just sayin.’

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