All across America, people are refusing to wear masks, putting our most vulnerable populations at risk, all because they feel like being told to wear a mask is an “infringement on their freedom.”
Last night, “Schitt’s Creek” star and co-creator, Dan Levy, posted a video on social media addressing these people. Levy states that he understands being told what to do is frustrating, but asks those actively not wearing masks to think of the situation in a different way. He pleads to his followers, saying:
“Imagine seeing it [wearing a mask] not as an infringement on your freedom, but rather the simplest, easiest act of kindness that you can do in a day. Not just for yourself, but for other people who might have autoimmune issues, people who, if they were to contract COVID with those issues, might have some devastating repercussions.”
Instead of approaching this tough topic with anger and frustration, Levy put a spin on the situation, comparing wearing a mask to a simple act of kindness, reassigning meaning to masks and ultimately making them a symbol of kindness, good deeds and of empathy and love.
Dan Levy’s unique message is one that many people need to hear. As someone who falls in the “high-risk” category, it is upsetting that there are so many people who are willing to risk not only their own health, but the health of everyone they come in contact with, all to make the point that nobody can tell them what to do.
People like me are doing everything we can do to stay safe, but unfortunately we don’t know if it will be enough. It is terrifying to think about what would happen if I caught the coronavirus. It’s terrifying to know there are people out who put a lesser value on my life by proudly walking around public places without a mask. When you do that, your actions show the sick community exactly how you feel about us — that we are disposable.
This is a scary time for everyone, especially for those who are living with health conditions. Having to manage your chronic illness while in the middle of a pandemic is new territory for everyone, and at many times, we feel like we are in way over our heads. We have little control of our health to begin with, and now, we have to worry about a virus that if we were to catch, we most likely wouldn’t survive. We are all doing our best to avoid public places, but unfortunately, it’s not always possible — we have to go to doctors’ appointments, infusion centers and other forms of outpatient treatment. We have emergency surgeries and hospital admissions. We have nurses and therapists coming into our homes who provide us with the care we need and we have people dropping off groceries and supplies. All of this puts us at risk of contracting the virus! Having a pre-existing condition shouldn’t mean that our lives are less important than yours. Please show us that you care, that you think our lives have value and that you believe that everyone has the right to live, all by wearing a mask.
Last night, when Dan Levy posted that video, he showed everyone that he stands with the people who need protecting, the people who are doing their best. But we still need others to do their best as well. He concludes the video by saying, “So yeah, see it not as anyone or anything infringing on your freedom, but rather, if you have the freedom to leave your house, if you have the good health to leave your house, why not put on a mask? Make it your good deed for the day, and do something nice for yourself and other people.”
Those final words say it all… Why not put on a mask?