What’s wrong with that guy?Tweet
You hear it often nowadays: “We are living in different times.” I hear this often from people when they are doing their best to avoid getting too close (thank you, COVID-19). It’s one of the truer statements one makes in this era of deception and fake news.
Unfortunately, one of humanity’s fundamental flaws, besides being easily led a-stray, is complacency. Take my corner of the world, for example: we have experienced a really low number of cases of the virus. It’s true that our governments have done a great job of keeping us safe but it’s ultimately up to the people to hold the line and do what needs to be done. If not, we risk a major health crisis here too.
Yet, I see more and more people blatantly and foolishly disregarding what needs to be done. This is especially true of the young. With an uptick in cases across Canada, we must do better. Please, if you’re not an infectious-disease specialist, don’t make your own conclusions about how transmission happens.
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For example, because your area might have low numbers or even zero cases, doesn’t mean that we can lower our guards. Remember, COVID-19 came all the way from China and infected the world in a matter of months. Months! Also, just because you are young, doesn’t somehow exempt you from contracting or spreading it, so WEAR A MASK!
But John, WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH MENTAL HEALTH?
Well, nothing really, except that when I am sitting in a busy café and more than half of the customers are walking in without masks, I go into disaster mode. I saw an even higher percentage of kids not wearing a mask either.
Right or wrong, my blood boiled ever hotter with more and more bare-faced people walking through the door. I tried to contain the PTSD range, I really did, but alas, my experience of watching people die slowly with pneumonia overtook me. Finally, I jumped up out of my seat and yelled, “Where the Fu** are your masks?”
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One young person admitted she didn’t even have one. Sadly, but not surprisingly, my displeasure was met with smiles and laughter. I didn’t care then, and I don’t care now. I felt panicked and not safe. In fact, the more complacency sets in with folks, the more unsafe I feel – not only for myself, but for all those whose are immune systems are compromised. I bet instead of them considering the validity of my concerns, they probably thought “What’s wrong with that guy?”
Let’s see, What’s wrong with that guy? Humm, well, PTSD, a mental disorder that I earned with distinction, that’s what. I want to spend the rest of my days painful and death-free. A tall order I know, but it’s a panic-driven concern that can send me in to a fit of anger. It really is bigger than me sometimes.
If my own mental history weren’t enough, the accumulation of recklessness on behalf of my fellow human beings can send me to a point of no return. I really do hate it, but sometimes it will rear its ugly head.
So, if you ever see someone “losing it” on someone – especially over something like mask- wearing and/or other legit safety concerns, don’t ask, “What’s wrong with that guy?” Instead, ask yourself, “What has he been through? And is what he is angry about, valid?
Please, be safe and I beg you, please think of others…. Take care!
If you are struggling, please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada