Letter: I hate wearing a mask | VailDaily.com

Letter: I hate wearing a mask

I have to say I hate wearing a mask. I hate the way it looks, I hate seeing my fellow Americans in one and I hate the fear that comes with wearing one. I was born in 1973 and remember in the ’80s or ’90s having conversations about how we would never wear masks like the people in Asian countries. We were too smart for that! We cared about the environment too much to destroy it like “they” did. I’m not one to follow rules, ask anyone who knows me.

I’m lucky enough to be one of the essential workers and for the most part my job allows me to be alone in the field. However, there are times when I have to enter buildings with staff members. And now I hate that the staff that I come into contact with are not wearing masks. So why do I hate that?

Well, because I am the father of an amazing 6-year-old boy for whom I wake up every day. I also have Type 1 diabetes (which means it’s genetic, and my body doesn’t produce what I need to survive without insulin) and that makes me part of the high-risk population for death from the COVID-19 virus. Today I wear a mask because I don’t know your story; I don’t know the people you are living for (kids, wife, significant other, parents); or what disease you are already fighting. Although I don’t have symptoms of COVID-19, I wear a mask because I can’t choose whether I give you this virus or not if I have it. I can’t control who I might infect. I can’t control whether you’ll live or die if I give it to you.

Maybe this is all the media blowing up the issue, maybe it is a political move or a conspiracy theory. Regardless, I know one thing: People are dying from COVID-19! In the sickest patients, underlying conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes are common risk factors. Please help me come home every day to my son. Please help me celebrate all his milestones by watching him graduate and become an adult and maybe even a dad. Maybe I’m making a big deal out of this too. I’m OK with being wrong if it helps all of us come home one more day to spend time with our families. Are you?

Joe Shankland 

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