You gotta love the Associated Press.
Today the AP published a brief piece headlined "How Do I Politely Ask Someone To Wear A Mask?", with the same genteel delivery that one might ask a shopper not to bruise the bananas in the produce aisle.
From the article:
"'Experts say you should make the request discreetly because shaming the person could put them on the defensive. If they feel violated by the way you approach them, they are much less likely to make a change,' said Jan Kavookjian, a behavioral scientist at Auburn University."
Call me contrary, but behaviorally speaking, the person not wearing a mask in public at this stage of an ongoing nightmare of a pandemic is NOT THE ONE BEING VIOLATED.
How discreetly do you suppose Dr. Kavookjian would address someone swinging a machete in a public place? I mean, in one hand you've got COVID-19, in the other you have a machete—both can leave you with long-term organ damage or kill you outright. Shall we be careful not to shame the person with the machete?
Also, if you're "making the request discreetly," doesn't that assume you're doing so quietly, so no one else hears? As a matter of verbal communication, how close do you have to get to an unmasked person, in public, to make a discreet request? IDK, BUT I BET IT'S CLOSER THAN SIX FEET.
Never mind, reading on:
"Public health experts say masks are key to reducing the spread of COVID-19. But asking a stranger to put one on could still result in a volatile situation, since they may not be easily persuaded."
Point of order: isn't it the stubborn, maskless person creating the potentially volatile situation? If by "volatile" we mean, "prospectively killing or maiming the people around them," then, yes! Yes, they are.
In which case, isn't AP putting the burden of politesse on the wrong party? In a court of law, if one swings a machete in an uncontrolled manner and cleaves an innocent bystander, who's legally liable?
Hint: NOT THE PERSON WEARING THE MASK.
"Rather than risk a confrontation, experts say it might be best to steer clear of people without masks in public if you can."
This seems like a good time to define a word, and today's word is: sociopath.noun, Psychiatry.
"a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience."