Whether you hug someone or shrug away, do you feel freedom of expressing yourself in these times?steemCreated with Sketch.

in hive-159906 •  last month  (edited)
I was denied entry to super markets.
Shopekeepers refused to give grocery to me.
People perceived me as threat when I moved on road.
Family members were tensed and scared of me.

What was my crime, you ask?
Well, I didn't put a face msak!

I hear, some people in this world are celebrating their Independence day today.

The words 'independence' and 'freedom' mean different things to different people according to their level of understanding. To me, the word 'independence' implies that we are no more dependent on anyone or anything; and we are free to live our life as we wish while letting others to live their life freely.

But the recent pandemic has dictated new norms of social distancing, sanitation and putting up of a face mask for everyone out here. This has compelled me to think what exactly independence or freedom means.

I just came across a tweet from Melinda Gates:

Wearing a mask is an important way we can all help stop the spread of COVID-19.

I’m wearing one to protect myself and my community. Masks are a tool to fight the virus—let’s use them. https://t.co/0dx5FVonn3 pic.twitter.com/UZwoXxAslH

— Melinda Gates (@melindagates) July 3, 2020

But should wearing a mask be a mandatory thing?
@ecotrain has raised this interesting question for this week in its QOTW:

Are You A 'Hugger Or A Shrugger' In These Pandemic Times?

I am happy to share my story and thoughts on the subject here.

At my place, the law and its implementation is quite strict in this regard.

Many office buildings like Bank premises, hospitals and clinics have placed is sanitizer at their entry gate. And the guard at the door ensures that you use it and enter in only if you are wearing a mask.

If I venture out of my home without a mask, the local police can fine me an amount of rupees 200 to 500.

The problem is, I don't like wearing masks or maintaining strict distance from whom I am interacting with. So I have never put a mask.

Many will term it as suicidal, but for me it's living a life. Life always carries the risk of death. However, death is certain, it's just the matter of time.

There is very fine line of difference between panic & precaution. In the disguise of precaution, most people are heavily panicked. I also need to make a statement through my actions against such a situation of panic.

A relative of mine told me that he was fined rupees 200 for not wearing a mask though he was driving a car at that time. But that was by the order of local administration, so you can't contest it. So, I keep a spare amount of rupees 200 whenever I go out from my home ... just in case if I am caught and penalized. That's how prepared I'm! ...lol!

In the local market, many shopkeepers don't allow me in their premises and refuse to give me any goods. This is how local administration has instructed all shopkeepers. So I don't take any offence as they are all following the orders. But I have stopped going to all those places where they demand to put a mask over my face. Fortunately there are some who don't mind whether I am wearing a mask or not. Thanks to them, I don't encounter much problem in getting my groceries.

But there is another serious problem to my behaviour. Without a mask I am perceived as a threat to public. This made me ponder over my own action of not wearing a mask.

I do understand their point of view as it is based on the widely disseminated information about the required precautionary measures for covid-19 disease. I dont want to argue here for what's right or what's wrong. But even if I assume that it's all right, I fail to understand that what gives them right to dictate my lifestyle! It's like, my own existence have become a threat to others. So should I cease to exist?! I feel so unwanted and unwelcome here!

At home, even my parents feel threatened by me because I don't take adequate precautions.

Considering all these, I have stopped going out of my home unless it's very urgent.

Coincidentaly, the social blockchain Blurt has launched today. Do you notice the designer mask in its logo? 😜

BLURT logo.jpg

Regarding the question of hugging or shrugging; generally we don't have a culture of greeting each other with hugs. Either it's a namaste or touching the feet of elderly people.

But hardly anyone visits during these days. Even if someone visits, they are visibly in doubt for whether the other person would be ok for a hug or even a handshake. When someone bows down to touch the feet, people scream to do it from a distance itself.

Am I being selfish?

But to the people who perceive me as a threat or as a selfish person for not wearing a mask and putting their health at risk, I would like to convey that everyone's health is his or her own responsibility. Ain't they ashamed of putting their health's responsibility on someone else ...a complete stranger, and calling them selfish for not fulfilling their "responsibility" to take care of their health.

Why I am being expected to take care of your health when you yourself can take care of it?

If you are eating all the junk food,
the over processed and packaged food full of toxins,
cigarettes and tobacco chewing or smoking is part of your healthy habits;
then who is responsible for your compromised immune system?

If you are not living a natural and healthy lifestyle by eating fresh & organically grown fruits and vegetables,
if you are not doing yoga or exercise or some physical labour,
If you are not exposing yourself to the fresh air and sunlight by always encaging yourself in an air conditioned environment,
If you are not taking sufficient sleep and following other simple healthy lifestyle habits;
how can you blame me to not take sufficient precaution for protecting you?

If a person has a a weak immune system, he or she should not venture out and take extra precautions as a sick patient until they get well and regain a healthy immune system through healthy lifestyle habits.

Ain't lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cardiac arrests and cancer among the top killers in this country? So why are you not scared of them and not taking any precautionary measures to protect yourself from it?

If you don't want to take any actions to protect yourself from those diseases then why you want to impose your rules on me to safeguard yourself from Covid19?

There are several evidences and precedents that proves that you can protect yourself from COVID19 by taking measures to strengthen your immune system. Just do that and don't beg me to wear a mask!

I can't emphasize any more to follow a balance, healthy and natural lifestyle to get rid of not just Covid-19 but almost all other diseases. I'm not being selfish, I'm trying to live free. But I believe that none of us is free if all of us are not free.

So this Independence Day, lets take positive steps to become free ...free from all diseases and fear!

“Historically, the most terrible things—war, genocide, and slavery—have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience.” —Howard Zinn

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@xyzashu it baffles me aswell, i guess i do have same experience as yours, where your are been restricted to enter a vehicle , bank etc without a face mask,several arrest of people here in Nigeria over face mask.

I find it displeasing in wearing mask since the effect of the pandemic and in most cases my neighbor has refused helping me out in his car because i dont have my mask ; so many experiences i had that made me learn to use the mask. I hope this ends soon

Faith

Sorry to learn that it's a similar experience in Nigeria too. 😷
Be strong, it shall pass too!

Yea,assuredly it will end ,hope situations of things over there is getting better

I so much hate that mask, I too do not wear it unless it is very much required in certain places. Well people do not understand how dangerous it is for one's health to wear a mask for a prolonged period

Masks are for robbers. Beware of robbers!
Take care of yourself and be well.