I’d wear a mask but I can’t breathe. (Don’t worry. There’s a ventilator with your name on it.)

I left it in the car. (That’ll do a lot of good.)

There’s a conspiracy. It’s a hoax. (Tell that to 1.31 million people worldwide who died.)

We’re not really at risk. (Tell that to 34 million people who are infected.)

It’s my right to do as I please. (Happy Super Spreader)

I am wearing a mask. (At least your neck is safe.)

The virus was created in a laboratory. (That means you won’t get it. You can exhale.)

And on and on.

I’m about to have a good whine. I’m frustrated because I’ve heard all of the above recently, including someone who said, “I’m a not a conspiracy theorist but the government is lying to us. They’re a really dark force. They’re manipulating us.” It all leaves me breathless. Literally. I go to a public park to do a four mile walk and most days, about half the people there are wearing masks. A woman without a mask and a man wearing one are pushing a baby carriage. A runner without a mask rushes past me on the narrow path, sweating and breathing hard. A woman has her mask hanging off her ear as she passes me. A man has his in his hand. Someone else has it looped around her elbow.

I was in a grocery store a few days ago, masked up, and a tall burly man had his mask under his chin. When I asked him kindly to put it on properly since we were in a confined space, he stared at me l like he didn’t speak English. Maybe he doesn’t, I thought, so I spoke to the manager who went to apprise the situation. The unmasked man got irate and started arguing. “It’s not a law,” he barked

“It’s store policy,” the manager said.

“It’s not a law,” the man repeated in a louder voice until everyone in the store could hear him. The manager was about to usher him out but he left his masked girlfriend to pay the bill and he walked out fuming.

If it sounds like I’m complaining, I am. It’s one thing to do harm to yourself. If you want to ingest drugs, shoot heroine, smoke crack, have unsafe sex, have at it. It’d be a good idea to take better care of yourself better but that’s a personal choice. No one else has to suffer from your decision. But when it comes to an airborne virus, it’s a different story altogether. Any decision you make about it affects all the people around you and all the people around them. When did taking life and death precautions become a political decision? Why is it so hard to do something that will make everyone around you more comfortable, whether or not you agree with them?

Love thy neighbor as yourself. It’s pretty simple and straight forward. And in the case of Covid-19, if you refuse to believe the warnings, then love your neighbor better than yourself. If you can’t do it for you, do it for me. Or your husband. Or your daughter. Or your neighbor. Let’s do everything we can, let’s go above and beyond to get this thing under control and make our lives easier or happier places to be. I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted. Please Join me in making this world safer and more welcoming. It’s the most and the least we can do.