Who is that masked man?

Well, here we all are in our fourth month of this pandemic. Luckily, I haven’t contracted that stinkin’ virus, unless I was one of those asymptomatic carriers we keep hearing about. Heck, I might’ve have the ‘Rona and not even known it. If infected, you might have a fever and body aches according to the medical experts. Excuse me, Doc, but I am a 62-year-old cowpoke living in Texas where it’s dang near a hundred degrees  200 days out of the year. I’m tired and achy every day of the year, and how am I supposed to know if I have a fever? Sure, I could use a thermometer, but mine exploded when I used it to check the soil temperature in my garden last July.

I am relatively certain I am not infected. I have been staying home or at least on our ranch for most of the time the corona virus has been running amok in our great state. I have ventured out a few times to get essentials like groceries, building supplies and snake oil, but I made dang sure to keep my distance from folks. And I wear a mask whenever I go anywhere.

There are still some folks who simply refuse to wear a mask. They have their reasons, and some have convoluted theories about mask-wearing. One woman wrote a lengthy essay on Facebook on the hazards of wearing a mask. She claims we inhale our own “poisonous carbon dioxide” that’s trapped in the mask. I could’ve replied to her post to rebuke her statement, but my momma once told me to never talk to crazy people. If wearing a surgical mask was hazardous, do you think highly trained surgeons and nurses would risk their lives performing lengthy operations? And, for your information, those surgeons aren’t wearing sterile masks and gown for their safety but for yours.

The fact is carbon dioxide, as does oxygen, can pass through most masks. If the mask prevents CO2 from exiting your body, carbon dioxide poisoning is the least of your worries. I’d be more concerned about how funny you look with blue lips.

Lots of people claim a mask does not prevent you from catching the virus. This is true, to a degree. An ordinary mask does help to some degree, trapping larger droplets of virus-laced saliva spewed from some sicko, though it can’t stop the smaller spit balls. But if the infected, and possibly asymptomatic, person is also wearing a mask, most of the germs are trapped in his mask, and your mask is a secondary barrier.

If this is a little too scientific for some of y’all, let me explain it in a way y’all might understand it. I saw this analogy somewhere online and it makes a ton of sense. Let’s say you and some fella are at a nudist camp, chatting about something when the other guy begins to urinate on your bare leg. You’re gonna have a lot of pee on you. Now, let’s say you are wearing jeans when that rude fella pees on you. Some urine may reach skin depending on your type of pants. But what if you have on jeans and that dude with bladder problems is also wearing jeans? How much urine is going to reach your bare skin? Now do you get it?

Even with all the scientific findings, some folks won’t wear a mask due to their own  unsubstantiated theories. Some people just don’t think this virus is a big deal and aren’t accepting any advice from scientific or medical experts. Do these folks know that the first dinosaurs to become extinct were those with the smallest brain?

As a kid, one of my heroes was the Lone Ranger. He wore a mask and rode throughout the west protecting people from bad guys. If you happen to see me in Home Depot, you might ask, “Who is that masked man?” Have no worry. I’m one of the good guys.

Clint Younts has been staying at home during this long period, driving his children crazy. But at least his grandchildren can help him drive the tractor and feed the cattle.


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