Did you ever watch cartoons when you were young? One of my favorites as a child was “Scooby-Doo,” an animated cartoon series that featured teenagers Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy. They also had a talking brown Great Dane named Scooby-Doo. This motley crew of mystery-solvers would travel from town to town, engaging alleged supernatural creatures.
Shaggy and Scooby were the lovable screw-ups no one ever believed. Almost every episode started with Scooby and Shaggy seeing something dangerous, but every time they warned their friends, the reaction was the same: disbelief. Eventually, the gang would witness the same thing then solve the mystery.
As I got older, I questioned why no one ever believed Scooby and Shaggy. They were kooky, but they were always right. In the end, what did the rest of their friends have to lose by believing them? Why not just jump into the mystery-solving based on their word? It would save a lot of time and possibly lives.
That’s how I feel about wearing a mask.
I know this is a heated political topic. People are losing their minds arguing about whether we should wear masks or not. I am not going to weigh in with my opinion. I am, however, going to share a recent epiphany my wife, Jill, and I had. Ever since Jill was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, I have become more protective of her and her health.
When the coronavirus started infecting people in the U.S., I became concerned about what would happen if she caught it. As her caregiver, I am acutely aware that she is part of the underlying medical conditions crowd. Like many people, we were able to work from home the first several months. After that, Jill started to go into the office, where other people were present. People who might have the virus. I wanted to make sure she was healthy, and wearing a mask made sense as a way to protect her from any evil germs.
Shortly after she went back to work, wearing a mask became a state mandate, which we have followed ever since. We keep the masks in the car and wear them whenever we are in public. The masks are not comfortable, and they can make you feel claustrophobic, but we do it anyway.
At some point, Jill and I were discussing all of the discord around wearing them. Jill said that even if wearing one is not 100 percent effective, what is there to lose? Even if we don’t believe it will work, why bother finding out the hard way? Wearing a mask is a lot like believing Scooby and Shaggy the first time they tell you there’s a bad guy trying to kill you …
In the end, we may find out that the masks don’t actually help, but are you willing to kill someone to test your belief? I am not, and I have no doubt that everyone who loves someone with a rare disease will understand the following sentence: I love Jill and would do anything to protect her, even if I have to endure something that’s not always comfortable.
Her life is worth it.
Note: Huntington’s Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Huntington’s Disease News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Huntington’s disease.
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