COVID-19 Series

Concentrating On COVID: Respecting the Unmasked

As we pass our six months under a worldwide pandemic, I personally see more protections being laxed specifically the mask wearing and social distancing. More opportunities are being made available for those not wishing to be respectable of the rules and sometimes cause strife with those who must be the enforcers of these rules.

In the past week at my local supercenter I have seen the second door re-opened for the second time, directional signage removed and the absence of people counting at the entrances. Yet, our case counts continue on a daily basis in our local county. I do have a compassion that persons, including myself are exhausted by the mask wearing, social distancing and excessive signage in establishments. However, it is still a governmental mandate in most states in the US to do these things and is suggested by the Federal officials to do so. therefore, if one wants to do not mask and not social distance then they run the risk of being called out by the enforcers and per the policies of these establishments result in being ejected from their establishment.

Yes, I understand some autistics, particularly autistic children oftentimes experience difficulty in mask wearing. There are exceptions in our and many other states and countries for the mask mandate. Regardless, establishments still have the right to refuse service and if they as the establishment has the opportunity to offer alternatives to serve the customers that cannot wear a mask.
I seen a true example of this opportunity this past weekend. I was visiting a charity shop when I was halted at the entrance, I waited. Unknown to me a couple that had previously left but returned in line behind me with a mask resulted in the manager being called. She stated that a mask was required to shop and if this cannot be done, you can shop at another time after store hours, He then told the manager that she was buying into (Pennsylvania Governor) Wolf’s bullsh*t and that its not a law. He was told his options again and complied. Regardless he didn’t stay long at the shop.

I have told this story as one of many examples that an autist may experience in the general community and that you as the autist should before heading out in the public before visiting an establishment for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, be aware of the COVID related policies and if alternatives are provided for those who are unable to wear a mask. If you can and are immunocompromised, or of a older age, look for establishments that provide special hours at their stores for those aforementioned populations.

Additionally, please respect your judgement in whether to attend a function that you do not feel safe attending because precautions are not being observed, respectfully refrain from attending if you feel your health may be compromised by attending. I, for one miss they way things were before this but my health and not having to have a COVID swab in my throat is something that I am not willing to risk for something that is not critical or detrimental to my health.

Regardless, you know what your health is both mental and physical and what you can or cannot tolerate because of the extra precautions and circumstances as a result of COVID. Outweigh the risks and benefits of doing something for your health and wellbeing. You will always have people in the crowds with their beliefs and not following mandates, but there is nothing that you can say to change that person’s mind at that very moment to make the confrontation a heated one and cause you to other issues mentally.

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