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A new virus is brewing amongst humans!

My husband and I had a play date to visit some friends that we haven’t seen since their baby girl, Iris*, was born.

On the morning of our date, I went to the local discount store/pharmacy to pick up a “new baby” card for the parents.

The store did NOT have a “face mask required” sign taped to the door, so I entered without one.

I don’t wear a mask when I’m out and about on the streets of NYC and I cover the science and wisdom behind that decision here: Use Common Sense, Masks are NOT Mandatory

Sans mask, I walked directly to the card section and found the perfect sentiment to welcome baby Iris* to the world.

Done! That was easy. Now, all I had to do was pay.

At the register area, there were large round blue dots on the floor where each of the customers could stand at the recommended six-foot distance from each other.

I stood on my solitary blue island, waiting patiently.

There were three people ahead of me.

But, there was a delay at the register.

A woman was returning an item and attempting to purchase another item simultaneously, but they weren’t priced the same, so she had to pay the difference.

The little blue islands were slowly growing more populated with people, so the cashier called for a backup to work the second register.

A masked man, standing three islands ahead of me, turned back impatiently and glared at the growing line of waiting customers.

He did a quick doubletake when he spotted my maskless face. He pointed a finger at his mask, and then air-jabbed that same finger a few times in the direction of my face.

I lifted my hand to acknowledge him and said, “Thank you.”

He turned around to face the register, but quickly spun back and shouted, “I said MASK!!!!”

I replied, “Yes, I heard you. Thanks again.”

The second cashier appeared and began rescuing people from their tiny isolated islands.

The mask confronter was next in line and when he got up to the cashier, he gave us all an earful! He exclaimed loud enough for people ten islands away to hear him. “That woman is NOT wearing a mask. You had better NOT let her buy anything in this store.”

Cashier #2 said, “Don’t worry I won’t let her pay at my register without a mask.”

The woman who initially held up the line with her return order was still at register #1. She turned around, spotted me, and yelled, “OH MY GOD!!! That woman is NOT wearing a mask. I cannot believe this!!! I am NOT leaving this store until that woman puts a mask on!”

Cashier #1 looked at me and said, “Ma’am do you have a mask?”

I said, “No.”

He continued, “Ma’am would you like me to provide you with a mask.”

“Sure, you can provide me with a mask.”

To which he immediately left his register and ran to the pharmacy at the back of the store to grab protection.

Both the masked man and woman standing at the registers were more than three islands away from my maskless face. At six feet between island destinations, that was over eighteen feet between us.

Clearly, they were not afraid of catching the virus. Unless, of course, it was a super virus that was able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

If they would have truly been afraid of catching the virus, they would have high-tailed it out of the store. But, they didn’t. They lingered.

So, we all waited, some more patiently than others, for cashier #1 to return.

He came back a few moments later, handed me a mask, and dove back behind the register to finish the transaction now that everyone was safe.

I made my way to the cashier, where I put the mask on, paid for my greeting card, and then took it the mask off and dropped it into the garbage before exiting the store.

There is a new virus that has permeated our consciousness throughout this pandemic.

I believe that this new virus will kill you and your spirit before the Coronavirus ever does.

Welcome to the world, baby Iris*, it’s going to be an interesting experience for you to grow up in.

*Baby Iris’ name has been changed to protect her and her parent’s from being canceled for associating with a non-compliant person like me.