Whether you hug someone or shrug away, do you feel freedom of expressing yourself in these times?steemCreated with Sketch.

in hive-123046 •  last month  (edited)
I was denied entry to super markets.
Shopekeepers refused to give grocery to me.
People perceived me as threat when I moved on road.
Family members were tensed and scared of me.

What was my crime, you ask?
Well, I didn't put a face msak!

I hear, some people in this world are celebrating their Independence day today.

The words 'independence' and 'freedom' mean different things to different people according to their level of understanding. To me, the word 'independence' implies that we are no more dependent on anyone or anything; and we are free to live our life as we wish while letting others to live their life freely.

But the recent pandemic has dictated new norms of social distancing, sanitation and putting up of a face mask for everyone out here. This has compelled me to think what exactly independence or freedom means.

I just came across a tweet from Melinda Gates:

Wearing a mask is an important way we can all help stop the spread of COVID-19.

I’m wearing one to protect myself and my community. Masks are a tool to fight the virus—let’s use them. https://t.co/0dx5FVonn3 pic.twitter.com/UZwoXxAslH

— Melinda Gates (@melindagates) July 3, 2020

But should wearing a mask be a mandatory thing?
@ecotrain has raised this interesting question for this week in its QOTW:

Are You A 'Hugger Or A Shrugger' In These Pandemic Times?

I am happy to share my story and thoughts on the subject here.

At my place, the law and its implementation is quite strict in this regard.

Many office buildings like Bank premises, hospitals and clinics have placed is sanitizer at their entry gate. And the guard at the door ensures that you use it and enter in only if you are wearing a mask.

If I venture out of my home without a mask, the local police can fine me an amount of rupees 200 to 500.

The problem is, I don't like wearing masks or maintaining strict distance from whom I am interacting with. So I have never put a mask on.

Many will term it as suicidal, but for me it's living a life. Life always carries the risk of death. However, death is certain, it's just the matter of time.

There is very fine line of difference between panic & precaution. In the disguise of precaution, most people are heavily panicked. I also need to make a statement through my actions against such a situation of panic.

A relative of mine told me that he was fined rupees 200 for not wearing a mask though he was driving a car at that time. But that was by the order of local administration, so you can't contest it. So, I keep a spare amount of rupees 200 whenever I go out from my home ... just in case if I am caught and penalized. That's how prepared I'm! ...lol!

In the local market, many shopkeepers don't allow me in their premises and refuse to give me any goods. This is how local administration has instructed all shopkeepers. So I don't take any offence as they are all following the orders. But I have stopped going to all those places where they demand to put a mask over my face. Fortunately there are some who don't mind whether I am wearing a mask or not. Thanks to them, I don't encounter much problem in getting my groceries.

But there is another serious problem to my behaviour. Without a mask, I am perceived as a threat to public. This made me ponder over my own action of not wearing a mask.

I do understand their point of view as it is based on the widely disseminated information about the required precautionary measures for covid-19 disease. I dont want to argue here for what's right or what's wrong. But even if I assume that it's all right, I fail to understand that what gives them right to dictate my lifestyle! It's like, my own existence have become a threat to others. So should I cease to exist?! I feel so unwanted and unwelcome here!

At home, even my parents feel threatened by me because I don't take adequate precautions.

Considering all these, I have stopped going out of my home unless it's very urgent.

Coincidentaly, the social blockchain Blurt has launched today. Do you notice the designer mask in its logo? 😜

BLURT logo.jpg

Regarding the question of hugging or shrugging; generally we don't have a culture of greeting each other with hugs. Either it's a namaste or touching the feet of elderly people.

But hardly anyone visits during these days. Even if someone visits, they are visibly in doubt for whether the other person would be ok for a hug or even a handshake. When someone bows down to touch the feet, people scream to do it from a distance itself.

Am I being selfish?

But to the people who perceive me as a threat or as a selfish person for not wearing a mask and putting their health at risk, I would like to convey that everyone's health is his or her own responsibility. Ain't they ashamed of putting their health's responsibility on someone else ...a complete stranger, and calling them selfish for not fulfilling their "responsibility" to take care of their health.

Why I am being expected to take care of your health when you yourself can take care of it?

If you are eating all the junk food,
the over processed and packaged food full of toxins,
cigarettes and tobacco chewing or smoking is part of your healthy habits;
then who is responsible for your compromised immune system?

If you are not living a natural and healthy lifestyle by eating fresh & organically grown fruits and vegetables,
if you are not doing yoga or exercise or some physical labour,
If you are not exposing yourself to the fresh air and sunlight by always encaging yourself in an air conditioned environment,
If you are not taking sufficient sleep and following other simple healthy lifestyle habits;
how can you blame me to not take sufficient precaution for protecting you?

If a person has a a weak immune system, he or she should not venture out and take extra precautions as a sick patient until they get well and regain a healthy immune system through healthy lifestyle habits.

Ain't lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cardiac arrests and cancer among the top killers in this country? So why are you not scared of them and not taking any precautionary measures to protect yourself from it?

If you don't want to take any actions to protect yourself from those diseases then why want to impose your rules on me to safeguard yourself from Covid19?

There are several evidences and precedents that proves that you can protect yourself from COVID19 by taking measures to strengthen your immune system. Just do that and don't beg me to wear a mask!

I can't emphasize any more to follow a balance, healthy and natural lifestyle to get rid of not just Covid-19 but almost all other diseases. I'm not being selfish, I'm trying to live free. But I believe that none of us is free if all of us are not free.

So this Independence Day, lets take positive steps to become free ...free from all diseases and fear!

*******

“Historically, the most terrible things—war, genocide, and slavery—have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience.” —Howard Zinn

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thank you for sharing a glimpse of india.. a country that surprisingly has a lot of COrona,.. and more surprisingly.. a total and complete lock down more than any other country i know of...

It must be hard.. i can understand.. with SO MANUY old people.. the rural hospitals can not even cope as they are.. they have untrained nurses and very minimal equipment.. even to train them up how to do a basic test is not really practical.. so they have made it SO hard for everyone.. i can hardly imagine.. in a way im glad i got locked out and dont have to witness it.l

i hope things ease up soon...
i still have 25,000 rupees in the pocket p-)
<3
mice to see you take part.. great post and very nice end too!

Life is hard sometimes, so we need to accept it but when we, as a society, unneccesarily make it harder; I start wondering about the intellectual ability of humans.

Keep those 25,000 is your pocket as reserve. Who knows, what rule they are gonna come up with tomorrow morning! 😜

Hope you are doing well @xyzashu let's chat soon.

Yeah, I'm ok. Thanks for your concern! :)

I know how it's hard to be in situations like that. In my case is very hard as well. Today is Sunday and we are not allowed to go outside because that's what the government told us. I don't like it but I must follow for other people as well.

I want to live my life as I wanted but it's hard to ignore those people who are afraid. Anyway, I hope you will be doing fine soon.

I don't like it but I must follow for other people as well.

I like your attitude of having compassion towards all. Yes, we can't ignore those who are living in fear eventhough it may be unfounded.

Take care and stay strong!

i want a more progressive and equal world but am surrounded by a lot of people who want the status quo

World, esp. democracies, move by the collective intelligence of all of its citizens. So, I guess, we need to raise the level of thinking & undersanding of the avearage crowd. But time will come one day, when your wishes will be fulfilled! So I wish.

it is all about education, the good news is gen z is using the power of the internet to educate themselves and share their collective misery and disgust. generational change