Back in Class (Masks and Civility)

by Fiona Joy Green, Jaqueline McLeod Rogers and Dallas Cant

What happens when you don’t feel relief after getting double vaxx? As Fiona, Jaque and Dallas talk we name a kind of anxiety that washes over as we move back, in micro ways, to in-person outdoor and indoor gatherings.

There are reminders to be patient and civil at grocery stores, medical spaces and restaurants. Front line workers are having to deal with people losing it, showing that for many, the ‘thank you essential workers’ fad has long faded. In other words, senses of entitlement have increased, especially for well-resourced folks.

We wonder, in one of many interrelated threads of conversation and cathartic release/complaint/venting, do masks give people the guts to act with more entitlement? To act abusively to those who are a mere individual within a global pandemic. We know that people tend to be more ruthless online because of anonymity, and perhaps this has been extended to the physical realm through covid times.

And yet we know for many pro vax folks just trying to do their best, covid fatigue is real and patience has slimmed. We’re tired. And so many people have been left unsupported and effectively abandoned by state supports. How does someone who is feeling vulnerable and in need of support reach out for help across 6 feet? As we know now, online contexts have kept some of us connected but the echo and freeze of zoom can be deeply isolating and lonely.

Covid and Covid fatigue has been in the air for over a year and half, and we’re still not out of it. We still don’t know how it will end.

**This blog post was co-written by Dr. Fiona Green, Dr. Jaqueline McLeod Rogers and RA Dallas Cant**

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