I haven’t had my furnace cleaned this year. Back in December, just as the Omicron surge hit, I called the man who had installed my new furnace a few years ago and made an appointment for a maintenance cleaning and safety check. He arrived on time, which was a nice surprise. But when I answered the door, he was standing on my stoop, about two feet away from me, and wasn’t wearing a mask. (I was.)
I asked him if he had a mask in his truck. If not, I could give him one. (Back then, I kept a box of surgical masks on hand, in case. Now, I keep some extra KN95s.)
His answer “I don’t wear masks” was said with a good-ole-boy smile that I might have considered charming in other circumstances.
I was dumbfounded and just stared at him.
“Is that a problem?” he asked.
I said, “Yes.”
That brief interaction left me shaking and feeling violated. As the day progressed, I began to feel angry that someone would refuse to wear a mask in my home while a highly infectious virus was filling the hospitals yet again. Hell, this is my home! My anger eventually turned to righteous indignation.
Back then, the issues were clear. If you respected others and cared about public health, you wore a mask and socially distanced whenever you were outside your established bubble, and you got vaccinated as soon as possible. In contrast, those who refused to follow such basic protocols (which my grandmother would have called common decency) were the kind of people Read More