Today Patty and I flew to Hawaii to see our youngest daughter Sally, her husband Aaron and our three grandkids that they parent. In fact I am writing this blog on the airplane. Over the last 40 years I have traveled to different countries and places on an airplane a lot. Airports and airplanes had become over the years one of my favorite places to talk to people about their life, their interests, and their faith. I said “had” because they aren’t any more because nobody talks, thanks to face masks. It is like everyone is walking around in their own little, bitty world all by themselves. Another one of my favorite activities was to walk around Home Depot, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Coastal Farm, and Harbor Freight looking at stuff and striking up conversations with other customers. I would go into at least one of those stores several times each week. I don’t do that anymore, it is a waste of time, unless I am there just to buy something, because it is just about impossible to have a conversation with anybody, nobody will talk, thanks to the power of the almighty face mask that is saving us all from death.
I wore a mask most of the day today because I would have gotten yelled at a lot had I not, and I don’t enjoy making a scene. It is a strange feeling being around people all day and feeling lonely, isolated, and like being in prison. People don’t even make eye contact with you anymore as you walk down the aisle of the airplane. No “Hi, how are you” coming from anybody.
From my research and reading I don’t think masks help with the spread of COVID at all, but even if they helped a little, I am of the very strong opinion that the price we are paying in people’s mental, psychological, and spiritual health is much greater than any benefit gained in physical health. There is a very real reason that suicides, alcohol consumption, drug use, and domestic violence have all increased substantially this past year. People were created by God for community, and for social interaction, and even the most introverted person will be unhappy without it.
People often say to me, “wearing a face mask is no different than wearing a bicycle helmet or a seat belt.” I wear a seat belt every time I ride in a car and a helmet every time I ride my bicycle, and my experience today in the world of face masks was much different than a day of traveling on my bicycle. I end a day riding my bike feeling happy, I ended today feeling depressed.