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GROB: Really? You’re still not wearing a mask?

By James Grob, jgrob@charlescitypress.com

Would you be angry at me if I told you to never drive drunk?

Would you be angry at me if I told you that you need to pass a gun safety class before you go hunting with me?

If I advised you to wear a condom, to prevent pregnancy and AIDS, would you be mad?

GROB: Really? You’re still not wearing a mask?
James Grob

Would it upset you if I asked you to wash the fecal matter off your hands before you prepare dinner?

Probably not, because you’re not an idiot, right? You know that there are intelligent precautions to take in this world, which keep us from hurting ourselves and others.

So put on a mask when you’re out in public.

Yes, this is another scolding. I’m about to be the 50 millionth person to give you an annoying lecture about putting on a mask.

You don’t have to read it, I don’t care. But I have to say it.

I have to say it because you’re an idiot. And that’s your problem. But you’re a dangerous idiot, and that’s my problem.

The spread of the virus in Iowa is out of control. The lines in our area of the world right now to get one of the drive-by COVID-19 tests are sometimes hours long. I know this, because I’ve waited in them twice — once for me to get tested and once for my wife.

My test was negative. I’m not sick, at least not right now. My wife wasn’t as fortunate, her test was positive. I think she’s going to be OK. She has many symptoms but nothing serious. We have quarantined and now live on different levels of our own house. When we have to be in the same room together, we both wear masks. No kissy-face for us, for at least another week.

My immune system is compromised, due to years of fighting cancer. It’s likely that my body wouldn’t handle the coronavirus well. There are hundreds of people right here in this community just like me. You know at least one of them, I guarantee you.

Maybe you don’t care if you kill us. Maybe you’d actually like to kill us. Maybe that’s why you don’t wear a mask.

That’s what I see, anyway, when I’m out and about. I see people who’d like me to be dead. If I’m looking at you funny, it’s only because I think you’re an awful person who wants to kill me.

The day before I was quarantined, I stopped by a local convenience store to pick up some provisions. The store was crowded, and I was the only customer in there wearing a mask. The employees were wearing masks. There was a sign on the door encouraging customers to wear masks, but apparently, I was the only customer that day who knows how to read.

That evening, I ordered food from a local eatery, delicious food that I love. I went to pick it up, and when I walked inside, the place was crowded, no one was wearing a mask, no one was keeping a social distance — not even the employees. Even the manager, who happily took my money and handed me my food, had no mask on.

I love supporting my local businesses, I love that they offer quality products and that I keep money in my community, and help to continue to provide jobs and services for my neighbors. But come on, man. You’ve got to give me some respect in return. At least pretend you care about your customers — all of your customers.

In my eyes, I was surrounded by people who’d like to kill me, or, perhaps just didn’t care if I died. At best, I was surrounded by idiots. Dangerous idiots. So don’t be surprised if that ticks me off a little bit. It’s a defense mechanism, a survival instinct.

Because you all didn’t mask up, one-quarter of the local football season was cancelled. Playing high school football, many moons ago, was just about the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. These kids this year had part of that taken away from them, because you didn’t wear a mask.

Few things are more fun and valuable than performing in a play. The drama kids at Charles City High School had theirs postponed, and perhaps it will ultimately be cancelled, because you didn’t wear a mask.

The school district is working desperately to educate your children, and tediously worked out a plan to bring kids back to full-time, in-person learning, the way it’s supposed to be. The kids need that. They deserve that. But, because you didn’t wear a mask, the district had to scrap that plan for a while.

And over the weekend, we learned that a beloved local teacher died. Maybe if you would have worn a mask, she wouldn’t have gotten the virus. Maybe if you start wearing one, you’ll help prevent someone like her from getting sick.

Do I sound too self-righteous and too holier-than-thou to you? Too bad. That’s your problem, not mine.

If you won’t mask up, you’re a dangerous idiot, and that’s our problem.

A little piece of cloth can solve it.

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