coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Wear the damn mask.

I am doing a dialogue exercise recently used by Roderick Robinson in a post at his blog, Tone Deaf.  

Suzanne is a healthcare technician in a medical clinic. Her patient is a middle-aged man named Joe. 

Joe:  I can take off this mask for the test, right?

Suzanne:  No, our faces will be about 15 inches apart. You have to keep the mask on while in the clinic.  Those are the rules.

Joe:  Seriously, SUZANNE? You're kidding, right?

Suzanne: (Not looking at him, setting up the machine) I don't kid. 

Joe:  This mask is uncomfortable.

Suzanne:  I know it's uncomfortable. I've been wearing my mask and a face shield at least 40 hours a week for nearly a year now. 

Joe:  (Getting angry) It's really uncomfortable!  

Suzanne:  This is to protect us both. Please try to relax and you will be able to get through this. It won't take long.

Joe: (Grumbles and lays down, pulling his mask under his nose.)

Suzanne:  Sir, pull your mask up over your nose.  If you don't, I can't to do this procedure.  

Joe:  I can't believe this!  (He pulls the mask up over his nose)

Procedure accomplished.



  1. I feel the frustration at the confinement but I obey the rules to protect those who put their health on the front line for the rest of us every day. Here's to the postal workers, the grocery store clerks, the bank tellers. To thank you I'll cover up.

  2. I feel sorry for the medical technicians that have to put up with this crap.

  3. Joe is a selfish person trying to impose his will upon Suzanne. If he had a valid reason for not wanting to wear the mask he would have voiced it. Shame on you Joe.

  4. Thoughts-- Joe is a schmuck. Suzanne is a brave, hardworking hero.

  5. Suzanne is far more restrained than I would be. Fortunately, I am not a medical technician.
    I told a CVS manager to put up his mask in his store. He was restocking, breathing on everything! He just stared at me and kept on stocking. I sent an email to CVS. He wears his mask now.

  6. Yeah I have thoughts. That Joe is a dick. My husband is a nurse and he wears a mask and face shield all damned day every day. The last people can do is give a little thought to trying to protect others.

  7. Covid-19 has led to a barrage of half-complaints. Children must go to school, businesses must continue, boredom saps the mind, and so on. All true, but only half-true. These sentences need completing:

    Children go to school and MAY DIE THERE.

    A heroic attempt. Did you find it more difficult that conventional descriptive prose? How about an additional sub-theme? That Suzanne's best friend was equally stubborn and died the day before. This acknowledgement would invest what Suzanne says with extra emotion.

    Not that this would be easy. Because it happened previously the death would need to be in some form of what we call reported speech. As "stage directions" which we are trying to avoid. As awkwardly interpolated conversation which would sound cruel and/or unsympathetic to Suzanne's jabee.

    It's tough writing printed "spoken dialogue". For instance: "I've been wearing my mask and a face shield at least 40 hours a week for nearly a year now." is longer than most of the sentences we would speak. Consider: "It'll be only a minute for you. Me? etc, etc.

    Whoops! Skyped singing lesson is only seven minutes away.

    Never mind 8/10.

    1. Many thanks, Robbie. Good notes. This is fun.

  8. Many of those who couldn’t learn are no longer with us.

  9. Joe is a pain in the arse. He thinks his selfish objections are more important than keeping other people alive. If Suzanne has to deal with this sort of nonsense all day every day, it must drive her crazy.

  10. I work with cancer patients and we still have this conversation on a daily basis with patients and family. Security has to get involved sometimes.

    I had a patient yesterday tell me that there is no pandemic. I asked him if he knew the definition and he said, "Yeah, yeah."

    I didn't bother arguing with him but agreed to disagree and then walked away when I was done with him. Stupid should hurt more.

  11. Joe Covidiot is sadly too typical.

  12. People like this just annoy me to no end. I don't get it. I never will get it. We've got over a half million deaths and STILL people want to call it a hoax. What kind of proof do they need???

  13. I think you nailed the exercise.

    I remain saddened by the folks who continue to feel their comfort trumps (no pun intended) everyone's safety.

    And for the record, not masking in public spaces is a bad idea/practice. Not doing so in a medical facility, even worse.


So, whadayathink?