All We Have Is Each Other, Mickey Z's Blog

Coronavirus and the Cost(co) of Freedom — By Mickey Z.

By Mickey Z.
World News Trust
May 29th, 2020

Screenshot from TMZ

Screenshot from TMZ

In this time of lockdowns and quarantines, how far are you willing to go to display your liberated spirit?

Let’s say you had to drive to Costco to hoard — I mean, stock up on — toilet paper. You’ll step outside your house wearing clothes, I presume. Sure, when you woke up this morning, it was still a free country but you’ll opt to obey laws about public decency.

Perhaps you notice that one of your cars needs an inspection or maybe a tail light is broken. Patriotism aside, you instead choose the car that’s in full compliance with the related laws. You get in, put on your seat belt (law obeyed), drive within the local speed limit (law obeyed), stay out of the carpool lane (law obeyed), and resist all those free-man urges to run red lights and/or drive on the sidewalk (laws obeyed). 

In the Costco lot, the disability parking spots are available but you obey that law, too, and select a spot much further away from the entrance. To soothe yourself after all this restrictive conformity, you take a long drag from your vape pen — but opt to not smoke inside the store (law obeyed).

Regardless of which political party or news network or religion you prefer or follow, you’re respecting the social contract. But then it happens. Those audacious tyrants at Costco have pushed you too far. They’ve infringed upon your god-given right to exhale a cloud of aerosol particles smaller than 20 micrometers during a global pandemic that has already killed at least 350,000 humans. Yep, you are now required to wear a mask (as per state mandates and most medical advice) before entering their store.

This is where you draw your red-white-and-blue line in the sand.

Ten minutes in a mask? That sounds more repressive and unfair than taxation without representation! So, if you’re like this guy, you decide this is the hill you’ll die on (perhaps literally). Never mind that Costco is a private business and thus, not beholden to things like freedom of expression, you get out your phone to video your bold insurrection

Of course, you were not gonna steal your groceries — no need to challenge those pesky capitalist paying-for-things laws — but you were NEVER gonna surrender your liberated soul to the dictates of the mask fascists. Sure, you may lose this skirmish but not before you inform the totalitarian store clerk about the “free country” you woke up into this morning.

Perhaps later, you’ll do something that might’ve made Nathan Hale proud. You’ll post a shirtless video on your social media to announce: “I got every fucking right to not wear a mask. This isn’t about wearing a mask, it’s about control. I’m not the fucking sheep.”

Screenshot from TMZ


Some random questions for the “not the fucking sheep” crowd, for clarification’s sake:

  • Do you take off your shoes before going through airport security?
  • Do you let the NYPD search your bag during random subway checks?
  • If your local beach is closed due to pollution, riptide, or sharks, do you swim anyway — or is that revolutionary stance reserved solely for times of pandemic?
  • Do you drink and drive?
  • Do you wear sunscreen?
  • Do you pay your rent or mortgage on the due date?
  • Do you practice safe sex?
  • Do you let your children smoke, drink, gamble, and watch X-rated movies?
  • Do you support and adhere to age of consent laws in your state?
  • Do you pay taxes?
  • Do you roll your jam-packed shopping cart up to the 10-items-or-less counter?

I could go on for pages. Each and every minute, we conform to societal norms and rules — whether we agree with them or not. None of this is to suggest we shouldn’t be ever-suspicious of those in power. Anyone who knows me or has read my writing is aware of my affinity for challenging accepted narratives. After all, we are inundated with laws and some Americans face very selective interpretations and enforcement of said laws. 

There is plenty to carefully consider about the response to the coronavirus and many good reasons to question authority. I’ll talk more about that in future articles. For now, I’m merely curious as to why so many Americans simultaneously view wearing a mask during a health crisis as a sign of personal weakness and/or institutional oppression. More than 100,000 dead from Covid-19 in the United States alone but this is where some hearts and minds land? Could it have anything to do with the president and vice president serving as anti-mask role models during an election year?

Whatever your reason, please consider this: Wearing a mask in the name of caution does not make you a Republican, a Democrat, or a sheep (and you won’t have to turn in your Libertarian or Anarchist membership cards). 

You may believe Covid-19 is a plot designed to unseat a president or germ warfare launched by a hostile nation or a power grab cooked up by a cabal of billionaires. You might think the response has been botched by whichever group you choose to blame. Fine. Please continue to exercise that freedom of expression. But none of these beliefs change the fact that Covid-19 is a novel disease. Hence, by definition, it may take years before we comprehend its many nuances. 

In the meantime, wearing a mask whenever you’re in close proximity to other people — particularly strangers — is neither submission nor despotism. It’s just the very least you can do to reduce your suffering and the suffering of others… until we know more.

Mickey Z. can be found on Instagram here. He is also the founder of Helping Homeless Women – NYC, offering direct relief to women on the streets of New York City. To help him grow this project, CLICK HERE and make a donation right now. And please spread the word! 

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Mickey Z. is the founder of Helping Homeless Women – NYC, offering direct relief to women on the streets of New York City — before, during, and after the pandemic lockdown. To help him grow this project, CLICK HERE and make a donation right now. And please spread the word!

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