In your wildest dreams could you imagine a cloth mask being the focal point of a cultural civil war? This is the nuttiest thing in America since Pet Rocks were a serious fad. From what I can tell, we have three distinct groups, each with an equal amount of support.

  1. The Maskers” – So committed to the wearing of the mask you’ll see these people actually wearing their masks…in their car…while driving alone. (I’m trying not to judge, but what in the actual hell is that about?) These folks obviously include those wanting to follow health department recommendations, or have a compromised health condition/have a family member with a compromised health condition, and people who won’t walk barefooted in a hotel room. These folks [now] have the power of official CDC guidance and governmental enforcement. Also not afraid to share their opinion with anyone who is part of Group 2.
  2. The “Never-Maskers” – On this side you have people who fear the loss of civil liberties, conspiracy theorists, contrarians, hard-heads, doubting Thomases and skeptics. Often accused of placing “commerce over human lives” or something equally Draconian. This seems to only energize and amuse this group, as they also seem to be just as, if not more, healthy than those accusing them. Also not afraid to share their opinion with Group 1.
  3. What the Hell’ers – These poor humans are just trying to get through a day and not piss anyone off. “What is the big deal, just wear it”, they might say. “I know it’s ridiculous, but can we go along to get along?” They never watch Fox News, or CNN, MSNBC, or news in general. Blissfully (at times) unaware of the importance that Groups 1, and 2, respectively, have put on this line in the sand.

What happened here? Well, lemme tell you what happened. I call it the “Armadillo Theory.” That critter that you see more often in a state of a crushed hubcap than in active frolic is a perfect mascot for the great Mask War of 2020. [Texan Author’s Note: For the record, these little guys can actually fly when scared, like a little bullet train from hell.] And who can we blame?

That other little critter in the news, Dr. David Fragglerock Fauci.

Because on February 14, 2020, #FireFauci (sorry, ahead of myself) informed us that masks don’t work, and actively discouraged their use. Lesser reported advice from the good Doctor included him scoffing anyone doubting the safety of travel (February 17.) He’s not alone, our Surgeon General Jerome Adams was singing the same song.

But then the message changed. Masks are now essential (this is where Group 1 puffs their collective chest.) It’s another post entirely to analyze the explanation, but in the simplest terms, #FireFauci stated that the public needed to be misled to avoid any shortage of PPE for first-line responders. Judging from the idiots hoarding toilet paper and cleaning supplies, it’s probably a fair concern, but it is so blatantly ignorant of human behavior it is laughable. You lied, Fauci. You can’t be the “authority” on epidemiology speaking from the White House podium, lie to the American public, and then tell us “just kidding!”

And, like they always do, that armadillo running to the other side of the road stops, looks back, tries to return, aaaaaaand….

SPLAT.

25 years after accidentally landing in Human Resources, and still miles to go before I sleep. I have worked the wild and changing spectrum of the healthcare segment as a recruiter, generalist, business partner and team leader. Public, private, PE-backed, start-up ventures and merging entities – I’ve worked with them all, As an opinion leader in the Human Resources community, my blog, “HR Hardball” has become one of the most visible and popular sites for transparent discussion on the challenges facing HR professionals. I’m also a featured contributor for Fistful of Talent, co-author of “What’s Next in Human Resources” and now a contributor to the good folks with the HR Exchange Network.