Why you are so weary despite being surrounded by the most caring people in the history of the world

My niece went grocery shopping for her family yesterday. She doesn't wear a mask.

(Have you already formed an opinion of her?)

Four people were confrontational with her. Two were employees, but two were shoppers, regular citizens, in the store.

One young man approached her, with his mask, and told her that his grandma had died from COVID-19, so "put on your mask you selfish bitch."

And then he walked away.

I hope he felt better. 

He took all of his anger and rage and fear and confusion over this year, and the pain of his grandma dying, this tall strong young man, and saw my little niece who is about as tall as garden troll and as slight as a blade of grass, a mother of five well-loved healthy kids, and decided to pour all of his anger on her.

Why wouldn't he?

The state and federal governments and agencies have given him permission to. They have said it would be good for him to. They said his mask means he cares. They have encouraged him. With millions of dollars, they have created marketing campaigns to get peer pressure to do they work for them.

"We have a city-wide mask mandate, but we won't enforce it," they say, knowing that they've passed the buck to businesses and private citizens to do the enforcing.

And this is how they do the enforcing, what that young man did to my niece. They glare, whisper, point. They come up to you and say rude or awful things right to your face. They blame you for the deaths of a virus that came from China, for deaths in elderly or already ill. The yell at you about preventable deaths, seemingly unaware that no one is prevented death. 

You are healthy and harming no one and they blame you because you don't have a piece of fabric on your face even though there is plenty of proof that it doesn't work. The government, the celebrities, the public health officials, the task forces, the tsunami of a fearful public being led by the media--they all said anyone who doesn't wear it is selfish, uncaring, and to blame.

Do your part by finding someone without a mask and targeting them.

That's where we are today.

North Dakota nice, my ass.

So my niece, who was simply out buying food for her family, now has to brace herself for people coming up to her and saying vile things to her face. And she has to take it. It's government sanctioned. Because an entire nation has been conditioned to see the behavior of the young man as what we want to happen to get people like my niece to comply.

I stand with my niece, and those like her. I'm not ashamed to do so.

But I am ashamed of my country right now. I'm ashamed of my state and local leaders who are promoting this right now. When this virus is over, I'll never forget what they did. We made it through a nearly two-year pipeline protest that ground this community down into a pit of trauma and stress, and now our government leaders--in the name of health and safety--are the instigators doing the same thing. We used to have to be wary of protesters out and about, riling things up and filming and doxxing and putting us on social media blast for the world to attack, and now we have a government here in this state who paid for the same thing to happen, using our own tax dollars to do it, no less.

When Gov. Doug Burgum stands up there and scolds people for not wearing a mask and then cries and says people shouldn't shame those who wear masks, he has no actual idea of what is really going on out there. It's not the mask wearers being shamed and harassed. If he had any bit of decency in himself, he would start talking about this, he would start painting the kind of behavior my niece experienced in a negative light. He would acknowledge it is wrong and should stop.

But he won't.

Because they really really really really want you to wear a mask and they simply can't help but think, maybe, that having people confront those of us not wearing them in this way is a good thing because it'll get us to comply. On the surface they say "that's not right" but they are secretly gleeful that things like what happened to my niece are happening because it'll wear people down and cause them to be too scared to not comply.

That's the goal, after all. That's the psychology.

The psychology of marketing, of getting groups of people to do what you want.

Make it easy for people to do the "right" thing.

Make it hard for people to do the "wrong" thing.

It works. It's how you change behavior. It's what the state government is doing right now, with masks and other pandemic-related behaviors. The problem is that the definition of "right" and "wrong" are up for grabs, and the person with the power gets to make the determination.

Essentially, the state has forced people who reject their definitions to become weary every single day, because every single day is a fight.

We each have a limited amount of mental energy we can expend each day. We automatically look for a path that uses the least amount because we don't want to use up all our reserves. We may need it later.

So I am getting more and more people messaging me telling me they are exhausted. They are discouraged. They are worn out. They are withdrawing themselves from society and want nothing to do with people. They are avoiding going anywhere. They are angry. Their definition of right and wrong is very different, and they are having to fight everything every day. To simply exist at a basic level has become a battle.

This is not what this nation should be about. 

I've said it before, but the default state for the American citizen is freedom. Leaders who pretend they are giving freedom because they haven't mandated or made laws about something, but still use psychological abuse to change behavior against people's will, are liars. They are using a much worse tool to get to their ends. At least a law has a process that you can read, protest, and possibly get changed. This psychological warfare is ephemeral. It's not on the books. It's not law. It's just a wild beast set free, settling in the hearts of people and turning anyone into an enforcer. It won't come back when you call it to its cage, by the way. It's out in the wild, much like a virus, for good. You changed the people permanently.

That's why, when you simply go to buy groceries now, you have to be wary and defensive, because you don't know which of those people have become enforcers, which ones will come up to you and level all kinds of accusations against you.

Humans thrive in true freedom. We are not in freedom right now, and we are not thriving. Many are barely surviving.

There is inherently something wrong and destructive when you force people to behave against core beliefs such as faith and liberty. It absolutely destroys them by crushing their spirit, or tearing them apart through stress and anger. You demand they exist as a whole person while forcing them to exist in a state of cognitive dissonance, existing in compartments.

What happens when people are worn down mentally?

They find ways to cope. Drugs, alcohol, suicide, abuse of others. There's a reason these things, and mental health decline in general, are hitting peaks this year. Government wonks and leaders are fixated on daily case counts with one singular mission ("get numbers down by getting people's behavior fixed even though nothing is actually working!") and are destroying the people they're trying to save.

These numbers are directly on the heads of the government leaders who pass mandates and laws, or who use psychology and peer pressure, and crush the spirits and hearts of their people. You are responsible. You must answer for it someday. It might be at an election booth, or it might be in front of God. I don't know, but you shouldn't be so flippant about what you've done.

My niece was discouraged, I think. She walked away hurt. 

She's a great mom, and with five kids she doesn't get the opportunity to be a "selfish bitch." I hurt for her, and was also angry that she experienced this.

I told her a few things, because more than anything I want to be an encourager to people. That is, I want to feed their courage, not their hurt and hopelessness. I wish our leaders could do the same, but they are so busy giving worst-case-scenario interviews on CNN and fixated on pandemia nonsense that they've decided to destroy the people they're so busy saving.

"Maybe that young man's grandma had just died and he was angry," I wrote. "So many are just angry over all kinds of things -- and he saw you and you were where he unloaded it all. Praying for grace (me, too!) to understand people are hurting this year, are angry, are confused, many are lost and blind...and they are acting out."

And then I admitted it hasn't been easy for me, either. "It's tough. There are days I think my life would be easier if I just gave in. Why choose this battle? But I know those masks don't work. I know I will probably get the virus at some point, with or without it, or I won't. And I just know this is a kind of dry run for how things are going and I want to flex my resistance muscles, if that makes sense, on something not so difficult because much more difficult things are coming and I want the experience and habit and understanding of what it's like to stand apart from the crowd already under my belt. I guess I look at this as a time to practice being the target of hatred, because this isn't going to go away for a lot of things in the future. So this is my chance to get the thick skin built up."

I haven't felt like this since my school days, when kids would tease me until I cried, or say awful things to my face and outright reject or not allow me to be around their group. That's where we are now, with our adults and leadership: schoolyard bullying is now endorsed by the state. I guess it's a good thing I had that experience as a kid so I can recognize it for what it is. The incongruity of seeing a "bullying is bad" billboard next to a "maskupnd" billboard is startling.

As one woman put so well in an online discussion as we talked about this ugly confrontation in a store, which are now places that have become open season for people to confront anyone without a mask: Don't confuse CARE with RESPONSIBILITY. You can care about someone, truly, but you are not responsible for the situation, underlying conditions, whatever else that led to their death. The state can tell its citizens to blame those without masks as being selfish and uncaring and the ones to blame, but it is not true. It is a divisive and evil lie. 

The research is pretty clear that masks offer little to no protection for the wearer or as source control (the other person) in the community setting. The lie about masks is real, it's manipulative, it's political, and it's going to take a person with a real spine to hold the line. Every time I go into a store (except Ace Hardware, frankly, which is great), I pray on my way up to the door. I pray that I won't be harassed, but if I will, that I'll show kindness and grace to the person no matter what they say. It's wearying.

Please be encouraged.

You are not alone.

Find people who will feed your courage, not your fear.

You can contact me if you need some encouragement.


  1. First, my apologies for showing up so often in your comment threads. I'm guessing you have many, many readers, but they tend to be readers and not responders. I try to restrain myself, really I do.

    "My niece went grocery shopping for her family yesterday. She doesn't wear a mask.

    (Have you already formed an opinion of her?)"

    Yes, I have. I like her a lot, sight unseen.

    "One young man approached her, with his mask, and told her that his grandma had died from COVID-19, so 'put on your mask you selfish bitch.' "

    I wish her husband had been there, to test whether that SOB's muzzle protects against a knuckle sandwich. Bastard deserves to be coughing up a few teeth. Properly retained, of course, by his fear mask. "To Protect Others."

    It's odd. I do my retail unmasked all the time, despite Indiana having a governor's mask "mandate." And I've certainly never had anyone say anything to me, except the occasional furtive "good going" (often from people wearing the badge of conformance, oddly enough). I can only conclude that profane scolds such as the one who was abusive toward your niece are also cowards, preferring to pick on diminutive women. And maybe I'm getting glares and stink-eyes from some, but I'm notoriously oblivious and fail to notice. If someone wants to express their disapproval of me, they shouldn't be subtle about it, or they're wasting their time.

    My best to your niece.


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