As COVID-19 infections soar in the U.S., it’s becoming obvious that a large number of us are not practicing the required methods for doing battle in this biological warfare – especially by not wearing masks when in groups, large or small.
We have investigated the Non-masking types of Homo sapiens and find they rationalize their behavior in different ways and actually constitute four different sub-species — here detailed.
The Narcissists: The Narcissist Non-maskers are those that live within a bubble of self-regard. Reality is simply a mirror into which they stare and find that it should be about them only; no one has the smallest right to tell them what to do. Quite recently I asked a 15-year-old how school was going and he immediately answered: “I don’t do well with authority.” Well, at least honest, I thought.
And like this teen, Narcissist Non-maskers are usually young and resistant to a variety of reasonable demands, even if those demands are best for them, their safety, their health. They often disdain wearing a seatbelt (or, on a motorcycle, a helmet), may not have insurance for their jacked-up Camaros — and health insurance? – ha-ha. In particular, anything required by government violates their sacred civil rights.
Their concern for others and the risk of spreading the infection to them? — If these “others” fail to feed the Non-masker’s own needs and desires, they simply don’t exist.
The Invulnerables: The Invulnerable Non-maskers also tend to be young – mostly under 30 years – and they consider themselves basically immune to the virus. They’re not ignorant; they watch the news and are aware of the horrible numbers of those infected and dying.
But those numbers have nothing to do with them. They focus on the reports saying that COVID-19 impacts older people the most, and most seriously. So because they are younger and lack any complicating health issues, they simply don’t fear the virus or don’t want to seem fearful. And if this sub-species does become infected, they foresee only minor symptoms . . . or none at all.
The Invulnerables take little or no responsibility for the vulnerability of those around them. If infected, they are aware of the danger they present to others but downplay any real risk – in effect, to near zero.
The Fatalists: This sub-species of Non-masker simply figures that whatever will be, will be. So it doesn’t matter whether they wear a mask or not (social distancing no big issue either). These Non-maskers are often religious and assume they either have heavenly protection against the virus or have been elected to move on to their heavenly reward. The secular variety of these non-maskers thinks it’s a matter of fate . . . or maybe karma, whether living or dying simply out of their hands.
Somewhat like the Invulnerable Non-maskers, this sub-species gives little thought to how just a single COVID fatality will impact so many others: the loved ones who live and mourn those who have died; friends and family who aren’t allowed into the ICU to console those struggling for one more breath; the “long-haulers” who survive but over long periods remain seriously ill with the infection; the infected who take up hospital beds needed for those suffering other diseases; the first responders and care-givers who see no end in sight.
The Infected: The Infected Non-maskers are certainly the worst spreaders of all. Infected with COVID-19 or not, they have been infected by the “Tweeter in Chief” and his inability to deal with the virus, either within his own family, or his White House staff, or the American people.
Whatever Trump has said about the virus is gospel: wearing a mask is a personal decision, a statement of individual freedom; COVID-19 just another version of the seasonal flu; it will eventually go away or be beaten by a vaccine, or some untested drug.
The Infected Non-maskers are guided by his Tweets and his behavior, no matter the disconnect from reality, from facts, from whatever science is saying. Thus, rather than fighting the virus, Trump enables this sub-species to promote further spread.
There they are, the four Non-masker sub-species who must be convinced to change their behavior – with or without a vaccine. Unconvinced, they may also merge into an even worse hybrid, a combination of Non-maskers and Anti-vaxxers, thereby teaming up with the virus to continue this war into 2022 . . . or even beyond.
And no matter the final, inevitable conclusion of this war, the hundreds of thousands of deaths — U.S. and worldwide — mark it as already lost.