Recently I’ve seen that statement, or at least that attitude, on so many posts on Facebook.
Let me say, categorically, NO, it’s not!
Before you get all bent out of shape, allow me to explain.
As you probably know, for the last nearly 18 years I’ve been a motorcoach operator — tour bus driver — driving all over the eastern US and Canada on a daily basis. Many of the passengers and groups that I drive for have ridden with me before and fully trust my judgment as a driver. But once in a while, I’ll have a passenger, typically sitting in the first or second row just behind me, who “knows” more than I do.
“Why are you going this way?”
“I know a shortcut. “
“Waze (a map and traffic app) says you should have taken such-and-such a route.”
Once in a while, if I’m particularly annoyed at someone’s suggestions (usually because of prior attitudes expressed), I’ll suggest, “Make sure you have Waze set in Bus Mode.” That keeps them quiet for at least a few minutes. (Waze doesn’t have a Bus Mode.)
On group charters, I almost always discuss the planned route with the group leader before we pull out of the parking lot. On company tours, I alone am responsible for route selection, so my opinion is the one that counts. In either case, I’ve been doing this for a long time and have a lot of experience selecting routes (there’s always more than one way to go). I’m keenly aware of the size and weight of my motorcoach, for example, and that’s a major factor in route selection — my coach is nearly 12 feet tall, so it doesn’t go under a 10-foot overpass; it weighs 24 tons, so I can’t cross a bridge with a 15-ton weight limit. Plus I’m aware of my passengers’ comfort — if I can, I’ll pick a route with smoother roads or fewer curves to limit car sickness or other passenger discomfort.
So yes, unless you’re also an experienced motorcoach operator, my opinion is MORE valid than yours! It’s based on the highest good for everyone involved.
How presumptuous of me would it be to believe that I don’t need to wear a mask when I’m around other people because I don’t think I’m sick.
On the other hand, I’m not a doctor, and I’m not an epidemiologist. That doesn’t mean I don’t know something about medicine or health. I do know I should wash my hands to help prevent the spread of germs. I do know that hand sanitizer can substitute for hand-washing when I’m unable to wash my hands. I have learned that social distancing, the act of staying at least six feet or so from others around me, can help protect others and myself from the spread of a highly contagious virus.
Thanks to Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, and other experts, I’ve also learned that wearing a mask can help protect others around me from contracting the novel coronavirus from me, even when I don’t know whether or not I have it, and that I could be spreading the virus even if I’m asymptomatic — no symptoms at all. So in their studied opinion, I should be wearing a mask.
My opinion doesn’t even really matter in this case. How presumptuous of me would it be to believe that I don’t need to wear a mask when I’m around other people because I don’t think I’m sick. The doctors who urge me, and everyone else, to wear a mask, are much more qualified than myself to express that opinion; their opinion is more valid than mine.
You may have any opinion you want, at any time, about anything. But that doesn’t make your opinion as valid as mine or as valid as Dr. Fauci’s. It has nothing to do with fear or freedom, as some have attempted to claim. When it comes to wearing a mask, it’s science. Medical science. And until science proves otherwise and the epidemiologists opine otherwise, wear a mask. I am.
But Dr. Fauci, don’t try and tell me which highway to take. My opinion counts on that one.