And when I say 'new wave', I'm not talking about around new round of 'rona. I'm talking about the insanity surrounding the 'rona.
So, Wallyworld has mandated masks nationwide with people who'll be standing outside to enforce the rule. Why? Because there are like loads of places in the nation already with mask rules, so why not make all the stores in the non-totalitarian places enforce those rules, too? Umm. Yah.
Today, all Dollar General stores follow in Walmart's locksteps. Because it's what they do, I guess.
Okay, here's the thing. Yesterday, I tried the mask thing. I had heard the USPS was enforcing a mask rule, so before I went into the post office to mail bills and pay for my PO Box, I put on a mask. I walked from my car which was parked in front of the door, to the outgoing mail slot which is about 8 feet inside the store and by the time I dropped my mail into the slot I was hyperventilating and sliding into a panic attack. I walked the few steps to the postal jail and slid my money for the PO Box through the tiny slot to the mail chick. When I tried to talk to her, all that came out was croaking, so I ripped the damn mask off. She looked at me kind of weird and I apologized saying "I'm sorry but I just can't wear it' and explaining how I'd heard it was mandatory masks in there. She said she hadn't heard it was mandatory there yet.
I'd also heard that masks were already mandatory at DG, so I girded my loins and went off to DG, telling myself it was something I was going to have to do if I wanted food, so I just needed to get over it. I put the mask in my purse and headed for the doors. No signs of any kind saying I had to put on a mask, so I didn't, but I was prepared to do it if someone said something. No one inside was wearing masks, so my stress level went way down and I shopped, thinking perhaps my info was wrong. When I was done, I talked to the cashier who told me the mask rule would go into effect the next day. The guy behind me overheard us talking and was all like 'what?', so I explained it to him. And he WENT OFF. Can't say I disagreed with anything he said, although I might've said it quieter and with fewer expletives.
The manager, upon hearing him, came out loaded for bear and totally on the defensive. With me. I talked her down and the dude left, muttering additional worthy comments about America, freedom, and communism. After she'd calmed down, because I assured her I was on her side and didn't have any intentions of taking my own righteous anger out on her or her staff, she told me that DG's new rules are to be enforced, no questions asked and no room for dissent. Employees don't comply or enforce the rule, they're fired. Period. Then she told me she has the same phobia I have about things over my mouth and nose. And she has to suck it up or lose her livelihood.
That's where we're at in America, folks. Follow the rules to avoid the chance you might catch a disease that, at the worst projections, is only slightly deadlier than the flu, or lose your job, be unable to shop for necessities, potentially face jail time... The original guidelines were to stay 6 feet away, wash your hands, and stop touching your face. I haven't heard anything that says 'those didn't work, so we have to wear masks now'. We just have to. No logic. No rational. Nothing.
As I've said before, I have no problem with people choosing to wear masks. If you feel like you're in the risk group, and you feel safer wearing a mask, go for it. It's the difference between choice and force, folks. And the underlying goal behind it? Control. If they can get you to wear a mask by scaring the hell out of you, they can get you to do anything.
I have to go out again later this week. While I was at DG, I bought a big handkerchief which I hope will be easier to deal with than the mask I had. The new masks I ordered arrive sometime this week. We'll see what happens. If I totally spazz out inside a store because of the mask thing, I'll have Hubs drop a line here while I'm in jail. (Not seriously concerned about that. Well, maybe a little.)