hmm what are they thinking?

Hmm, what are they thinking, and why do I keep letting my anxiety care what others are saying and doing?

I am still struggling with my anxiety, wearing a mask in public. The fear I feel out of place by wearing mine. Many of the people in my community is not wearing one, and my husband is one of those choosing not to wear one. He has been diagnosed but by personal choice untreated asthmatic, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Stage 2 Diabetes, and fatty liver. He believes in the herd immunity in regards to COVID-19. Herd immunity, according to Oxford, is, ‘The resistance to the spread of a contagious disease within a population that results if a sufficiently high proportion of individuals are immune to the disease, especially through vaccination.’ Mayo Clinic has an article and video further explaining the cost of going this route. Below is Mayo Clinic’s Video.

Mayo Clinic – Understanding herd immunity

Additionally, you have those not wearing masks because they feel that the government is trying to control them. Psychology Today, written by Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D., Why Are Masks Triggering Conflict and Rage?. This author addresses what he saw as political, health, fear, and economic breakdown. He finished the article with that this debate will continue but also not to assume or become irritated by other’s choices. His final paragraph is a simple example but put a positive spin on choosing to wear a mask.

Everyone has had to make sacrifices during national emergencies, like military service, during times of war. Our forebears gave up their freedom to eat chocolate during World War II so that more of it could go to the soldiers. Wearing a mask could be seen as a patriotic expression of self-sacrifice, as you do your part to defend our country from a microscopic invader. Wear it with pride as you hold onto your liberties.

I guess I keep returning to this one subject for selfish and childish reasons. Wearing a mask took a lot of effort on my part with my anxiety and still does to wear it in public. To see people in the media become abusive, violent, and offensive over a piece of material that could mean the difference between someone staying healthy or dying seems such a simple thing to do and move us faster toward finding our new normal. Yes, I do understand there is a small percentage due to severe reasons that may not be able to wear a mask, that is not what keeps agitating me. It is the fact that since the beginning of May, if I see ten people in a store, only one or two is wearing a mask. That is not including the employees. So of the no mask arguments are written about in Business Insider by Anna Medaris Miller’ Anti-maskers’ say they should not be forced to cover their faces in public because medical conditions mean they cannot wear a mask.

So I am back again with, I can only control myself, and even though my anxiety has me feeling like I am judged for wearing it. I shall continue to wear one to honor the employees that are wearing one and that I do not think that their lives and the lives of the other customers around me have so low of a value that I will wear such a simple thing to follow through. Additionally, being a Home Health Aide of a Quadriplegic, I do not want to be responsible for this individual becoming ill because I brought it into the home. Additionally, if wearing one allows us to move our economy further forward and faster, than let us do this. On a silly note, I will probably revisit this subject when I realize that my tan line will show that I wear a mask.  

Here is 5/6/2020 Mayo Clinic Q & A podcast: How to clean during COVID-19. Mayo Clinic 5/6/2020 – Cleaning during COVID-19. Figured I would include this also because if our medical community is concerned, it is a viable health concern. Felt this was a high reinforcement of why we are still following through the CDC and our state government’s requests.  

I may take a historical perspective to this repeated mask befuddlement and our world health crisis and personal impact. Was going to do the 1918 flu pandemic but ran across another health crisis that is the polio scare. Shows the years involved in a life change and that the young impacted. CBS Sunday Morning did a quick view of how Polio affected our country.  CBS Sunday Morning – Conquering the polio epidemic. I guess I keep trying to find verification that everything we currently have to deal with, both health, emotional, and economic is not a farce but real.

Another reason I am still agitated about the subject of masks outside of running errands and seeing the lack of covers. While I was going through my Facebook newsfeed, I read a post at the end of April that keeps bothering me. The individual communicated they felt this was like the cold and flu, and that masks were not needed. The individual argument was we do not ask people to wear masks when we have colds. I guess the part that bothered me is the person involved has family members that are cancer survivors. Unsure if the post itself that bothers or even those that agreed. Another aspect is more personal that I have a personal history with the person and family, and their choices negatively impacted my daughter. Have read other posts and even news articles that balance out the no or yes toward masks. So is my mask agitation part anxiety, and this individual’s position brought up feelings of anger I had toward how my daughter was bullied. This anger was the attack on my daughter and the lack of personal responsibility from the family. The situation seems to emotionally separate but linked with the subject of masks that just fueled the anger I thought resolved toward the family. Will you look at that my humanity comes forth and shows I am a flawed individual that has a hard time forgiving those that attack my family.

Deep down, I have to say I am a flawed individual that anxiety still wears on me in regards to the mask in public no matter what. This will be a constant burden just due to the nature of how my anxiety impacts me. Heck mowing the lawn, I am praying no-one is out or looking through their windows because I fear to mow and to look wrong. Yes, it is silly, but even now, I still am agitated and avoid it as long as I can. Also though I know it is irrational, and unless my husband gets to it, my ½ acre of the yard looks like I am trying for hay. Well, now that I have scared you about anxiety and mowing the lawn. I think I will sign off sounds like a safe solution.

Before you go, I did run into a video created by New York Times writers Sanya Dosani and Adam Westbrook. It is a compilation of Ohio’s Dr. Amy Acton, where they condensed seven weeks of briefings and presented the high points of positive reinforcement round out and reinforced that it is okay to feel out of sorts and unsure. Time mark 4:47 has the best reminder that is striving to accept that we are in a new ordinary and that things change. It is okay to feel out of sorts.

New York Times Opinion Video – The Leader We Wish We All Had

Hopefully, the next time my mind will have found a different subject to dwell on. 

Again thank you to those who take the time to read. Have a beautiful day keep plugging along. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

References

Oxford Dictionary, https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/herd_immunity, 5/6/2020

herd immunity, NOUN, The resistance to the spread of a contagious disease within a population that results if a sufficiently high proportion of individuals are immune to the disease, primarily through vaccination. ‘the level of vaccination needed to achieve herd immunity varies by disease but ranges from 83 to 94 percent.’

Mayo Clinic, By DeeDee Stiepan, Understanding herd immunity, May 4, 2020, https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/understanding-herd-immunity/

Psychology Today, Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D., Why Are Masks Triggering Conflict and Rage?

Face masks have become a contentious issue in the debate around Covid-19.

Posted May 06, 2020, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/think-act-be/202005/why-are-masks-triggering-conflict-and-rage

CBS Sunday Morning, Conquering the polio epidemic, May 4, 2020, Rita Braver, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIIIYx_1Mrg&feature=push-u-sub&attr_tag=JX0FR4UhGG-fSa30%3A6

Difference Between.com, Difference Between Paraplegic and Quadriplegic, September 1, 2017 Posted by Ranidu, https://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-paraplegic-and-vs-quadriplegic/

The New York Times, The Leader We Wish We All Had, By Sanya Dosani and Adam Westbrook•May 5, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000007111965/coronavirus-ohio-amy-acton.html?src=vidm

Business Insider, ‘Anti-maskers’ say they should not be forced to cover their faces in public because medical conditions mean they cannot wear a mask, Anna Medaris Miller, 5/6/2020, https://www.businessinsider.com/anti-maskers-say-they-cant-wear-masks-because-medical-conditions-2020-5

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