Christopher Furlong, Getty Images
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

Something is wrong when the people who care for us are experiencing so much frustration.

Dr. Michelle Tarbox is an assistant professor at Texas Tech University. This is not just her opinion, but also her experience in this pandemic. What her nurses and other medical professionals are going through is NOT acceptable.

I grabbed this post from Dr. Tarbox because this is so important:

Entering a private business is a privilege, not a right.

Some businesses do not allow backpacks (due to concern for shoplifting). If you enter a store that does not allow backpacks while wearing one, they will ask you to leave the backpack in a secure location or leave the store. It is within their rights to do this.

Most businesses require proper attire (a shirt and shoes). If you try to enter a store barefoot as an adult, you will likely be asked to leave.

Right now many businesses are appropriately requiring that their patrons wear a mask or face covering while in the store, because we are in the middle of a pandemic with exponential spread in the United States, because they want to protect their workers, and because they want to protect other shoppers.

If you enter a private business because you, for example, want to buy shoes and the workers politely ask you to put on a mask you have two options as a decent human being.

1. You can put on a mask

2. You can choose to leave and do your shopping online or at a business that doesn’t require masks.

What you should not do as a hopefully mentally intact adult member of a society is assault the people working at the store. They have asked you to take a simple, harmless, uncomplicated step to help keep the people in their store healthy. They have not insulted your honor or your mother or your religion. They asked you to put on a mask. You can chose to put on a mask or leave.

Screaming when you don’t get your way, throwing things, hitting people, spitting on people, these are the actions of a toddler having a tantrum, not an adult “taking a stand.”

In our community a few days ago, a female bus driver was beaten with a 2x4 to the point of bleeding heavily from the back of her head by a 38 year old man simply because she asked him to put on a mask.

Wearing a mask shouldn’t be political, it is science, it is considerate, it is kind, it is polite, and it is how we can get through this pandemic. If you want to take a political stand, vote. If you want to take a stand against a business because you disagree with their policy on mask wearing, shop elsewhere.

The likely minimum wage earning employee you are unleashing your vitriol upon is simply trying to earn a living. They are working and trying to survive. They are working often to provide things people need or comfort items people want to help get through this time. They are not the enemy, they are just working to provide for their families. We owe these people our gratitude for working in a relatively low paying currently high risk position to help ensure our access to things we want and need.

My nurses perform temperature checks daily for people entering the hospital as a part of our hospital’s screening policy to help protect sick hospitalized patients and to help protect our medical workforce. They also have to ensure that everyone entering the building wears a mask.

My nurses have been verbally assaulted, threatened, bullied, screamed at, and physically pushed by adults in our community behaving like spoiled children in adult sized bodies in reaction to the simple request to wear a mask which the hospital is providing for them.

This type of behavior is unacceptable, unnecessary, and uncouth and it needs to stop.

My nurses aren’t taking a political stand, they aren’t trying to insult anyone, they are trying as we all are to protect our patients and our healthcare workforce. I hope that you are never in a position to need our help desperately as some of our sickest patients do. If you are healthy enough to throw a fit about wearing a mask, you are healthy enough to chose not to enter the building. Some of our patients don’t have this luxury.

Stay safe, wear a mask, be kind to each other, and wash your hands.

This is the second person from the Texas Tech medical system that we've featured on our website who is asking for you to just be considerate, clean, and wear a mask. We are all asking you to help the people helping you by masking up. If wearing a mask was just about you, I certainly wouldn't stand in your way to be yourself. But wearing a mask is about us, and we need your help to get through this pandemic.