Facemasks, how do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.
Time to let off some steam and facemasks are the target for my frustrations. I wrote most of this on one of those many grey, cold days in February, so not in the best of moods then.
If you’re getting ready to defend facemasks let me remind you that this is my blog and I’m using it to let off some of my steam. I’m not asking you to agree with me and I don’t really care whether you do or not. Posting things like this is good for my mental health. It stops me from going mental.
We can agree that yes, there’s a virus and yes it can kill people. My view is that the response to this threat is all out of proportion to the actual risk and that consequently, thanks to the power we have given up to our government and their scientific advisors we have caused far more damage to society and ourselves than would otherwise have happened with a different response.
Anyone who questions the response to the efficacy of lockdowns and mask wearing is shouted down as a heretic even if they are scientists and medical professionals who possess equal credentials and experience to those of their peers who are now dictating how we should live.
With all that said, here’s my list.
10 Reasons why I loathe facemasks
- Facemasks represent all that’s gone wrong in the world. They are a symbol of the pain and anguish of countless people and children during one lockdown after another; the suicidally desperate, the victims of domestic and child abuse, the dead and the dying due to late diagnosis, the children who’ve lost valuable education and play time, the sad and the lonely, and all those with all hopes and dreams crushed by financial woes.
- Facemasks are worn by celebrities and politicians who make videos telling us to stay at home and that we’re all in this together. Well, no we’re not. You’re not a single parent with two children under 10, living in a small flat in a tower block in which the lift smells of wee and from which the route to the nearest park means you have to run the gauntlet of feral gangs of knife-wielding 14 year olds, while the mayor of city is busy forming committees tasked with decolonising statues. Ricky Gervais was right. You know nothing about the real world. You don’t have a fucking clue so stop patronising people.
- Facemasks litter our streets. They lie discarded in the gutters and on the pavements, reminding us that there are now billions of them and that consequently they’ve become a new source of dangerous pollutant to the natural world. Now, it’s not just the plastic from a six pack of beer that ends up around the neck of a cormorant or a turtle, it’s a bloody facemask as well. Thank you, homo sapiens.
- Facemasks are a symbol of the restrictions on our lives. It’s no good trying to pretend they are something to be embraced or celebrated. No amount of colours, slogans, or decoration can hide what they are and what they represent any more than spraying glitter on the shackles around your ankle stops them from being shackles.
- Facemasks represent the stench of cronyism and corruption surrounding the awarding of multi million pound contracts by civil servants and politicians to the friends of civil servants and politicians.
- Facemasks are not clever items of miracle clinical wear. If wearing two masks is better than one then why the fuck didn’t they make them that way in the first place? We now have scientists suggesting we wear two or perhaps even three at the same time. Give me strength.
- Facemasks bring out the worst in people. They encourage the bullies and the facemask zealots (or wankers as I prefer to call them) to point and rant at anyone who doesn’t conform. It doesn’t matter if wearing one brings on a panic attack, if Fatty Lardpants, the Sainsbury’s security guard tells you to wear one so that you can rush around the store buying more emergency supplies of gin and chocolate, then you have to wear one or walk the walk of shame back to your car while small groups of open mouthed onlookers mutter about sending you to a detention camp for ‘putting me and family at risk’.
- Facemasks will lead to other restrictions already being discussed. First they get you conform, to obey all the rules. They they encourage others to denounce and snitch on those who don’t obey. Then they teach you to love you chains while they add more restrictions to your life. By the end of 2021 you’ll probably be so bludgeoned and demoralised by all the restrictions that you’ll meekly accept them as normal. You know this already, it’s the new normal. If there was ever an example of Orwellian Newspeak, that is it.
- Facemasks are being adopted as decoration. You see them buses and, bizarrely, airliners. The aviation industry has been decimated by the pandemic and yet some of those in charge of what little is left of airlines have seen fit to send a few Boeing 737s to the hangar to have a facemask painted on the nose, at great expense. Talk about learning to love your chains!
- Facemasks have generated a new industry in which is fuelled by people’s fears and worries about not only viruses but also how other people view them. Facemasks have morphed from the original March 2020 versions into face coverings that people now regard as fashion accessories but it’s all just so many more tons of landfill fodder.
There. I feel better now.