You cannot force me to wear a mask

You can’t make me wear a mask!

You can’t make me wear a mask…

because I have already chosen to wear a mask.

The other day, a young man half Husband’s age, inquired about a bill he owed. He had to pay Husband half of $1255.00. He sent an e transfer for $627.00.

A half hour later, he send a second e-transfer for $.50.

The fifty cents won’t change Husband’s life.

I suspect the e-transfer cost this young man more than the value of the transfer.

But that fifty cents changed my week.

He made it right. This young gentleman followed through on the social contract: When you owe somebody something, you give it to them. He didn’t need to pay that last fifty cents.

It didn’t really matter–except it did.

When he made sure that he made the extra effort to do it right, it restored my faith in the basic goodness of people. He did the small thing because it was the right thing.

I like to think his momma raised him right.


In this day where it seems we are pulled to think of our own rights, he thought to think of husband’s.

He did the right thing for the right reason.

He troubled himself to be civil and be thoughtful. He made a little thing right–and in so doing, had integrity.

Maybe we can all learn from this young man.

I won’t wear a mask out of fear.

I know the masks that I will wear won’t protect me from the virus. They don’t make me any safer. I may still get the virus because the mask isn’t a medical grade mask that prevents the virus from reaching my mucous membranes.

I will wear a mask from a posture of thoughtfulness and kindness.

I was gonna go current, but the woman beside me at the Jets store convinced me to go vintage.

I suspect that when I wear a mask it won’t save a life. I’m healthy and have no sign of COVID-19. None of my friends and family have tested positive. I don’t believe I have the virus. When I wear a mask, in all likelihood, it isn’t actually preventing illness.

I wear a mask as a courtesy to others. It is part of common civility that makes the world a better place.

My momma raised me right. She raised me to :

  • hold open doors for a friend that I am with, for elderly people, for anybody who walks with a walking aid
  • shake hands when I meet people (or at least I used to–now I apologize that I won’t shake a hand)
  • hand a person a tissue when someone cries, I hand them a kleenex; when they drop their keys, I reach down to pick them up; when someone asks where the restroom is, I give directions when I can.
  • move to the side when someone comes towards me in an aisle, so we can share the space–even as the other person moves towards the other side.

I don’t expect a medal for this. In fact, I don’t expect any recognition at all. What I do is no different than most of the people I know.

We do these things as part of our informal and unwritten social contract. We have an informal and understood agreement that we help each other, that we express a degree of thoughtfulness to total strangers with the understanding that we can ask others to do the same for us.

I wear a mask for the same reason I hold open a door for a person:

Basic civility.

It is to say:

I care enough about you to let you know that I wear a mask to put you at ease. You don’t know I’m healthy–I show you with my mask that I will do my part to not let you be sick or fear becoming sick with COVID-19.

I want you to know that I care about you and your concerns to be healthy and to keep your family and your loved ones healthy. I don’t know how worried you are about the virus so I will put you at ease assuming you may well be concerned about the virus. You may have elderly relatives you live with, or have family members that have compromised immune systems or an underlying health condition–and I join you in keeping them safe.

You matter to me. Your people matter to me. I will do my part to keep you and yours safe. I want to assure whatever anxious spirit you have that I want to participate in the global movement to slow the spread of the virus.

In a very small way, this mask says, ‘I care about you. I care about all of us.”

I also want to wear a mask to encourage others to wear a mask. While I know that I am healthy, I want to be part of a movement that makes it acceptable. Maybe more than acceptable–maybe even the normal and expected.

Join me in silently, by action, to encrypt “face mask wearing” into the social contract so that others don’t bristle when asked to don a mask?

If enough of us wear masks, there will be implicit social pressure to wear a mask. It will become the norm for us all to wear a mask. Personnel whose job it is to ask people to don a mask won’t get hit, beat up or yelled at for the request.

Others will just wear their mask–because everyone else is. And that, my friends, may protect me from someone who doesn’t think they have the virus but actually does. Ironically, wearing a mask might just indirectly lead to me saving my own life.

You won’t have to force me to wear a mask, you might just have to remind me if I forget. 🙂

Thanx in advance for your help.


  • Pauline Puff

    If Mona Lisa can wear a mask, so will I!!! Actually I do wear a mask, and also wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Winnipeg Free Press, re those fighting for their ‘rights’ not to wear a mask!! There is so much more I could write, but I totally agree with your comments, and I thank you for your great push to wear masks! For all the right reasons!!! Our forefathers fought and won our ‘rights’ for our freedom….let’s not shame their sacrifices in this manner! If we had lost, the nay-sayers could be speaking in German or Russian……..what do they think of that view????

    • Carolyn Klassen

      If Mona Lisa can wear a mask, so will I 😀
      Thanx, Pauline!

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