If you see people who continue to mask as masking requirements are lifted, here are some thoughts that may be helpful to remember :
- People may have cancer
- People may have autoimmune diseases
- People may have unvaccinated children at home
- People may have high-risk loved ones they are protecting
- People may have asthma and have realized over the last year that their symptoms are alleviated by a mask outdoors.
- People may have symptoms but be unable to stay home, they could be protecting you from the flu or a cold.
That woman wearing a mask, alone in her car? She may be on her way to pick up a cancer patient, a newborn, or an unvaccinated family member and not want any chance of her breathing in that vehicle making her passenger sick. That guy who appears healthy to you, masking in a store that doesn’t require it? He could be at high risk, unvaccinated, or protecting a loved one at home from exposure.
Even if a person looks or acts different than you expect, those behaviors came about for a reason. Seeking to understand why can open hearts and minds to different points of view and reveal common ground.
Assumption and judgement are twin pandemics that only empathy and kindness can cure.