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The Mask Police

I’m tired of being the mask police, but I can’t help myself. A few days ago I was waiting for the elevator and when it stopped at my floor the doors opened to a bunch of teenagers all not wearing masks and stuffed in there like sardines. I can’t imagine the look on my face, but it wasn’t good.  One of the kids said to me, “It’s a Corona elevator,” like it was some type of joke or something. I couldn’t help myself and replied, “You should be very proud of that. I’ll take the stairs.” I almost said you are all just young and dumb but held back.

Yesterday the elevator stopped on a floor and when the doors opened two people chatting away not wearing a mask stepped on and again I made a look and said I’d take the stairs. I’m not sure if they knew my reason, but honestly don’t think they would care anyway. If they are going to be rude enough not to wear a mask, why would they have any common decency to begin with. My only hope is my face gave them some idea of my frustration despite the fact that I held my tongue. I didn’t want to get beat up in the elevator or caught in some verbal war anyway so probably best I kept quiet.

If I find myself in the lobby waiting for the elevator and anyone walks up not wearing a mask again I’m off to the stairwell. I suppose taking the stairs is a good thing during this Fat-Demic, so I’m not totally annoyed, but as time goes on my tolerance is waning. No one wants to be the mask police and no one should have to be the mask police.

The icing on the cake I can’t eat was this morning. I was running on the treadmill at the gym in my building and some guys walked in both mask-less and started working out. One of them stepped on the treadmill beside me when he could have used another one that was at least 6-feet away. I decided to speed through my run and was almost done when the other guy who was standing in the middle of the room behind me let out a huge sneeze without even covering his mouth. I was beyond appalled.  I immediately thought to myself should I make a run for it to the exit and risk running through his germs, or stand and face the corner of the wall as far away as possible. I decided to make a run for it.

When I got home I looked up about sneezing and read that droplets can travel 23- 27 feet at 100 mph so either way I would have been screwed and can only hope I’m ok. Fretting over something outside of my control is pointless but looking back I wish I would have said something. He was a trainer though and was coaching the guy on the treadmill who was a boxer so thought it best to stay quiet and try and be calm. What would I have said anyway? The damage was already done and making some comment would be useless. I don’t think people like that change anyway. It’s one thing not to wear a mask, but a whole other thing to sneeze across the room so inconsiderately and stupidly.

I’m not sure what will happen next, but I am sure as time goes on it is going to continue to be a struggle for me not to police the place. I am the mask police whether I like it or not.

The Mask Police

Erica Loberg

Erica Loberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She attended Columbia University in New York and graduated with a BA in English. She is a published poet and author of Inside the Insane, Screaming at the Void, What Men Should Know About Women, What Women Should Know About Men, Diamonds From The Rough , Undressed, and I'm Not Playing.

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APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2020). The Mask Police. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 13 Aug 2020
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