Sunday, May 3, 2020

Fun with Dunce Masks

The CDC recommends wearing face covering “... in the community setting … ” which “... is not intended to protect the wearer, but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others”. In other words, you’re wearing a mask not primarily to protect yourself, but to protect other people from yourself, because you might not feel sick but you may still be contagious with something that this year is killing people in numbers not seen in an infectious disease since the pandemic flu of 1918.

But you’re probably seeing a lot of people “in community settings” who aren’t wearing masks. There could be two reasons for this:

  1. they’re a mean D-bag who doesn’t care about infecting and potentially killing you, your elderly parents, your friends and family with underlying medical conditions, or anyone whose immune system rolls the dice incorrectly while responding to this unfamiliar pathogen


  2. they’re unintelligent or just uninformed, and don’t understand that their behaviors are risking other’s health. In other words, they’re not a mean D-bag, but just a dunce.

I prefer to not think that people are D-bags, and so assume that those without masks are simple dunces. It’s harder to get angry at a dunce than a D-bag, and I’m tired of being angry.

Because dunces are not going to be wearing masks, I have created for them the Dunce Mask, or “D-Mask”. The D-Mask is a mask I put on people, in my imagination, so that I don’t yell at them. So far, it’s working.

For example, here’s an image of the White House COVID task force meeting a couple of days ago:

Nobody in this picture is wearing a mask except for 3 people handling the microphones and a camera. And this is the COVID Task Force! We’re supposed to take advice from these people!! Oh My G!!!

Here’s another image of that meeting, and it is just as upsetting:

And now, the same meeting with D-masks added (“D” for “Dunce” not for “D-bag”). Isn’t that at least a little more reassuring?

D-masks work in a lot of social situations. For example, here is one Walmart shopper not wearing a mask:

A lot better with a mask on, right?

How about this D-bag walking around the Mayo hospital without a mask:

Problem solved:

Last one, I promise: these Michigan protestors are a menace.

The D-mask won’t make them entirely safe (there is the matter of being a crowd in a time of social distancing … oh, and the automatic weapons) but this will help a little bit:

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, you cannot change people’s behavior, but you can change your perception of their behavior. And you can make the best of a bad situation (namely, waiting for your compromised nephew to be infected by some D-bag dunce who won’t wear a mask) by making a game out of it: adding D-masks on D-bags Dunces, even if only in your mind.



The image at the top of this post is done better in this cartoon created by Peter Kuper for The Week.

D-mask related tools:

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