Joe Kelly: This Is Why I Wear a Mask
Let me be perfectly clear about this. This article is my opinion, it's about me and only me. I'm not telling you what to do. We all have choices to make and reasons we make choices. This is about me.
I choose to wear a mask when I'm around others, when I'm outside of my home and outside of my immediate family. This includes the grocery store, the convenience store, the restaurant to pick up my carryout order, and everywhere else I go that's inside four walls and a roof.
My choice to wear a mask has nothing to do with whether I'm Republican, Democrat, or somewhere in between. My wearing a mask doesn't mean I'm an unabashed follower of the President or our Governor. It doesn't mean I'm for or against any political action, legislative agenda, or the United States Constitution.
Let me stop here and tell you I get no pleasure from wearing a mask. I'm too overweight and too out of shape. It's not a happy experience.
I'm wearing a mask to protect you and others.
Yes, you're correct. A mask doesn't do a lot to protect the person wearing it. For me, it's about not being selfish. It's about thinking about my fellow humans.
No, I don't have COVID-19. At least I don't THINK I do. I have had no symptoms, and have not been in direct contact (that I know of) with anyone with an active version of the virus. But, who knows? I could be a carrier now or a week from now.
I'm wearing a mask to protect the 11-year-old boy with cancer. I'm wearing a mask to protect the 72-year-old woman with lung disease. I'm wearing a mask to protect the 81-year-old man with a poor heart.
Does the government (national, state, local) have a right to tell me to wear a mask? I don't care. If they suggest it - for the health benefits it provides others, I'm glad to do it.
Does the government saying I should wear a mask take away my constitutional rights? Again, It's not really a big concern. It's not a big rights violation, as far as I'm concerned. It's not a big deal. My dad had to spend a few YEARS on a Navy ship away from his wife and new son (me). If he could do that "for his country", I can surely wear a mask for a limited time per day "for my country."
Is a mask inconvenient? Sure. That's all though, inconvenient. There's a difference (at least in my mind) of being stripped of rights and being inconvenienced.
I believe we're put on this earth to help others. Wearing a mask is the very least I can do.