Sounds like the title of an Indiana Jones movie, but it is actually what we are living these days.
We are tired of being afraid. Tired of the strict Covid-19 health regulations. Tired of the disconnection from our friends, the uncertainty about the future, the prohibitions, the foreboding death and sickness figures we hear every day. We are upset about not being allowed to travel, to disconnect from this daily gloom.
And for some it’s worse. For some, it’s financial loss, tension and stress, or even disease, death and mourning.
And in this scenario, we encounter those who are taking a stand against the rules designed to safeguard the most vulnerable in our society: the elderly and the sick or immunologically compromised.
These revolutionaries, I call them the Crusaders of the Unmasked Face, resist the use of the mask. They resist social isolation. And they do so as though this pandemic were designed specifically to aggravate them. They don’t seem to notice we are all on the same boat, because solidarity is not their cause. Their cause is much more mundane and worthless. It’s the protection of their own personal comfort beyond any humane considerations. That’s all.
You can see their proudly unmasked faces in stores, businesses, or offices, challenging, insulting, or even beating up those who remind them that, although we all hate wearing a face mask, we need to do it, to keep everyone safe. The latest trend is to call those who demand them to follow the same rules as all of us “fascists” or “nazis.”
In this sense, I need to make a historical clarification.
As Adolf Hitler was preparing Germany for the Second World War, he attacked not only Jews and those who were not Aryan, but also those he considered “unworthy of life,” people with mental health problems, birth defects, hearing loss, alcoholism, vision loss or developmental delays, or simply being “weak.”
In short, those who didn’t match his concept of Ubermenschen, or Superior Aryan men, degenerated from Nietzsche’s philosophy. Hitler viewed these individuals as “marginal human beings” who had to be sacrificed as the nation prepared for war.
He created a committee who started promptly to euthanize these individuals, calling the exercise “mercy killings.” As you can see, if we were to be insidious enough to call other people “nazis,” the term would fit much better those who show total lack of concern and solidarity for the most vulnerable people in our society, who would be most endangered by Covid-19.
On a brighter note, in the Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain, there is an archaological site where, for many years, archaeologists have been researching a group of hominids from 530,000 years ago.
They were profoundly moved when they found among the clan the skeleton of a 10-year-old girl who suffered from craniosynostosis, a condition that severely deforms a person’s skull and face, causing severe developmental problems.
The girl most definitely must have needed special care, and they gave it to her.
They loved and cared for her until, at the age of 10, she died of natural causes.
I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have minded wearing a mask to protect her, if offered.
Charo Lloret is from Spain. She writes about global issues and her experiences immigrating to Canada and living in Fort St. John.