Concentating on COVID: Honor and Divide

As we progress in this ever-looming Coronavirus pandemic, thoughts of what to do become confusing and exhausting for some. Others adhere to what they are recommended to do to stay safe. Honoring one request while having to accept another’s belief system can cause a divide between two parties, even if they are very close. However, we must do our best to honor everyone’s wishes while staying safe.

Now you must know that I am referring to universal masking, which has caused a great political divide in my great country. As of today, universal masking varies from establishment to establishment, although there are provisions in government orders that allow for exemptions because of sensory and other allowances. Although I believe it shouldn’t be used as a rule breaker card because of one’s beliefs. It must be honored because  it is what that party’s belief system is and it should be respected.

I remember when we started out this pandemic over a year and a half ago, we were supposed to be all in this together. However as time loomed, those who were appointed to guide our commonwealth in this journey of this difficult pandemic were met with hate speech and bullying, but they didn’t let it get under their skin. Frankly, I felt the health secretary of my state was on the spectrum because they didn’t let the hate speech get in their way of doing what was essential, protecting the citizens.

Yes, the leaders were and still are put in a precarious position to make sure that we remain safe in this long looming pandemic. I get that we are all tired. Some more than others. However, we must keep our guard up. Whether or not you want to wear a mask is your decision and I realize that as an autistic person I need to work more on honoring your belief systems in this very divided belief system we live in,

I must also be cognizant that not everyone can wear a mask because of sensory or many other issues and if I run into someone who is unmasked, I must refrain from making condescending comments and refrain judgement, a quality that many autistics lack. So it’s like an oxymoron of sorts because universal masking in the autistic community can become very divided as well with some, such as myself honoring and respecting it and others that have serious sensory issues from it. Regardless of where one stands on the universal masking scale, all must be honored and not be corrected as this pandemic is looming and correcting one’s mask wearing grounds could cause some unwanted conflict.

Last week, I received my annual influenza vaccine. My second year getting it makes me think of what used to seem like common sense many decades ago now to be a freedom of choice today. As much as universal masking continues to be a hotbed of debate for many, so is the use of vaccinations and immunizations. Decades ago, they understood that they were a necessary tool as much as school clothes for the return to school. While I understand whole heartedly the allowance of personal freedoms, one should also understand the duty they have as individuals to protect themselves from a mass outbreak of a disease that can be prevented with a simple injection or series of injections. Growing up, you believed in your doctors and the health experts. We as a nation have become inundated with news feeds and reports telling us multiple theories and changing belief systems that can become too overwhelming from the good old days of just getting the information that is essential and good and not all this hype, hype, but I digress,

As you head out into the world this week, just be mindful of others and just follow common sense theory. If you are sick, stay home. If you get in contact with someone, get a test. If you want the vaccine or a flu shot, get it, it’s that simple.

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