Hate masks? Well, here a few benefits to wearing one that you may not have thought about

It’s been about two months since I contracted COVID. I’ve been pretty darn safe through this whole pandemic mess, but I was just two degrees of separation from a science-denier who didn’t take this very seriously.

Now, I’ve never been in the top 1 percent of my class, the top 1 percent of income earners or the top 1 percent of guys in People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” edition, so I’m thankful that I also wasn’t in the less desirable 1 percent — the 1 percent who die after getting COVID. (Or, as the science-deniers will no doubt dispute, the people who died with COVID and were miscounted because they really died of their high blood pressure, hangnails or poison ivy.)

While I’m thankful I’m not in the 1 percent of folks who’ve died from this, I’m still a little frustrated with People’s refusal to even put me in the honorable mention section of the “Sexiest Man Alive” editions. It must be that they have seen my health records and consider my alive status as “iffy” because I’m sexy and I know it.

(You can’t see this, but I’m brushing my hands through my soft, sexy hair. All four of them.)

While I have after-effects of COVID, such as shortness of breath, fatigue and a diminished sense of smell, I allegedly have some degree of immunity. How much immunity and how long it lasts is the subject of much debate. With my luck, I’m sure my degree of immunity is somewhere around 1 percent. (There’s that number again.)

Yet, I still wear a mask because this is serious business. For those still into facts, COVID is the No. 3 cause of death in the U.S. right now. Our 74-year-old overweight president who feasts on KFC and never exercises has it, and I hope his case is even lighter than mine, but my 74-year-old perfectly healthy uncle died of the disease last month. And if you haven’t been to a funeral during the pandemic era, let me tell you it’s a pretty sad affair with far fewer people than would normally attend. It’s no way to go.

So, follow the advice of the scientists — the legit scientists, not the ones who believe in demon semen — and wear your mask. If everyone had chosen to be part of the solution all along, we would be ahead of the game. I’d be able to tie my shoes without getting winded, the president could be eating a Big Mac on his way to a rally with mask-wearing fans, and my uncle would be belting out “Johnny B Goode” on his electric guitar.

I know, I know. I’m just one of those science-believing sheeple. You can’t be swayed. OK then, forget the science. Consider these other reasons to wear masks.

  • When you are walking through a store and a song you are embarrassed to like comes on the sound system, you can quietly sing along and no one notices your lips are in sync with Neil Diamond’s “Forever in Blue Jeans,” which for about 30 years I thought was “Reverend Blue Jeans” about a very casual pastor, and I still prefer to sing it that way. Not that I would ever do that.
  • When you meet someone in the store that you know but really aren’t in the mood for what Larry David calls a “stop and chat” about nothing, you can pretend you didn’t recognize them because of the mask. And if they say, “But I’m not wearing mask — you are,” you can say, “Yeah, but I recognize people by inhaling their aura. Anyway, gotta run — don’t want my Spaghetti-Os to melt.” Not that I would ever do that.
  • If some driver accidentally nearly backs over you while you’re walking through a parking lot, you can wave nicely — with all five fingers, not just one — while inaudibly swearing with the kinds of horrible words you would hear in a junior high boys bathroom — the most disgusting places on the planet. Not that I would ever do that.
  • And, when you pass some entitled person who doesn’t wear a mask in a store that requires them — the same kinds of folks who preach that a private business has the right to deny service to anyone (except them, of course) — you can stick your tongue out at them.

“Um, is that bump under your mask you sticking your tongue out at me? Are you a science sheeple?”

“No, I’ve got a massive fever blister under here. Wanna see?”

“Um, no thanks.”

“No problem. Enjoy your COVID.”

Not that I would … OK, well, yeah, I have done that.

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