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“Please wear a mask… My life matters. Stop putting it at risk and just put on the mask.”

A hand holds a pile of brightly colored cloth masks.
By Auz Burger

Vancouver, WA
United States

It has been two months since I last left my house. I have asthma, fibromyalgia, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, so literally all of my joints dislocate. We don’t know how fibromyalgia will react to the coronavirus, but I don’t think it’ll be good. I have major inflammation issues and literally need ibuprofen to move around, and there have been some cases of ibuprofen making the virus worse.

I am terrified of catching this virus. I don't know if I’d survive it, and if I did, I’m sure I’d be left with new health conditions as a result. I constantly see people talking about not thinking they need masks and claiming it’s just a conspiracy.

This is not a conspiracy. This is real.

Just because you are not seeing me in person doesn’t mean you aren’t risking my life. Do you shop at my grocery store without a mask on? You’re still risking my life. Did you get gas at the same pump my husband did? You’re risking my life. If you aren’t wearing a mask and touch something that someone in my household comes into contact with, and it turns out you were infected and didn’t know it yet, you just risked my life. Period.

It is thoroughly heartbreaking for me to see people basically say that it’s okay to risk my life by not wearing a mask. They would rather kill me than wear a mask. Then they turn around and say, “Oh, I’m not coming over to see you, so it’s fine.” No, it’s not.

To everyone reading this, please wear a mask. Even if you don't think there’s a point to it. Even if you think it’s just an opinion that masks reduce the spread of the virus. Is your comfort really worth my life?

I shouldn’t have to live in fear that someone who isn’t wearing a mask will infect my husband or my roommates on their short trips outside the house. I shouldn’t have to be afraid of touching the groceries that are brought into my home. But I am. Why? Because some people don’t feel like wearing a mask.

My life matters. Stop putting it at risk and just put on the mask. Don’t leave the house unless it’s absolutely necessary. Eventually, they will develop a vaccine and this pandemic will pass. But the lives you cost by not wearing a mask, the grief felt by the people in their lives? There’s no vaccine for that.

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