• Kenton E. Biffert

How to Deal with a Mask Vigilante

It seems that everywhere I go I run smack into another mask vigilante. Masks have become the salvation of society. I walked into the post office not wearing a mask (but still wearing one of those ridiculous face shields) and a woman kneeled over and began to shake all over. She stomped her feet, shook her finger at me and stormed out because I wasn't wearing a mask.

At the ski hill, there were lifties taxed with the job of walking up and down the lines making sure everyone had their mask not only on, but also covering their nose. They went even further and told some that their scarf wasn't tight enough around their face. While standing in line, the lady beside me had her mask under her nose because it fogged up her glasses and then she couldn't see her child she was with. A man in front of her began to swear at her and demand that she cover her nose. The liftie got so mad that he threatened to throw her off the hill. Unbelievable.

On the airplane, my children were forced to wear a mask for the first time and had obvious problems like continually touching it and moving it under their nose so they could breathe. The stewardess came over and started yelling at them for putting everyone at risk, lectured them in front of everyone, gave them a yellow card (like in a soccer game) and told them that if they got a red card they would not be allowed to fly again with them for a year. Crazy.

People have gone bonkers over wearing these masks as if their salvation depended on it. Stores in our town, most of them actually, won't allow you in the store without a mask or a face shield, even if you provide a doctor's note. Folk yell at you on the street and swear at you as they jump into the vehicle and drive away.

I'm not going to get into the science behind this ridiculousness, any amount of reasonable searching will tell you how masking is stupid. Even the Ontario Wuhan virus website states, "Face coverings will not stop you from getting COVID-19, but may help protect others."

So, back to the topic at hand: how to deal with these unreasonable, corona vigilantes:

First, my gut reaction is to get fired up very quickly. I've followed guys out into the parking lot who were, like yellow bellies, calling me down in a crowd of people, but once we were outside jumped into the vehicle and took off. I've stood outside a truck window as the guy sat and fingered me and yelled at me, but refused to discourse or hear what I had to say. I've tried yelling back and making a bigger scene in the store. Most recently, I had a manager attack me and I let her have it. She stormed away shouting that she would sue me when she got the virus. Stupid.

Then ... I went to confession ... and my confessor called me out on my actions. His point made me think, to wit, that these folk, bound up in fear, are people too. I have to treat them with respect and control my temper. He is right.

So, how do you deal with someone shouting at you and shaming you in front of everyone, yet refuses to engage in a civil conversation?

Well, one way is to simply ignore them. This isn't my style, nor my prerogative, but I did it the other day at the liquor store when I guy verbally puked on me. I didn't even acknowledge his presence. He stopped at least and no one else said a word.

This was a step in the right direction. I suppose this is better than when I told the man in the ski line to take it out to the parking lot with me and deal with it man to man. However, I think I can take it a step further and honestly, this is a difficult one and takes a manly amount of self-control: smile and be genuinely friendly. Scripture states that this will heap coals of fire on his head (Prov.25:22).

Here is the problem: I'm already wound up heading into a store and preparing for a fight. But, if I could learn to force the tension down and genuinely smile at people and be friendly, I think this would really shake things up. So, this is my plan for the next vigilante that I run into.

I pray two prayers:

One from the Psalms:

God, come to my assistance.

Lord, make haste to help me.

One from Hilaire Belloc:

Noel, Noel, Noel,

May all my enemies

Go to Hell.

(Well, ok, I don't actually pray the last - but I do think it sometimes ...)


Semper Fidelis

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