During a visit to a midcoast grocery store, I was wearing a mask and rubber gloves.

Suddenly, a brute of a man, without a mask, deliberately came toward me from the opposite direction from the one that was marked with a large directional arrow, taped on the store’s floor. He pushed me and made a highly visible reach in front of my face, to grab a bottle of ketchup.

“You are going the wrong way!” I said. His response was: “Yes, I suppose I am.”

People who object to wearing protective masks in public are ostentatiously making wrong-minded political statements in the face of public health advice.

Nevertheless, the refusal to wear masks for the purpose of protecting others from contagious air-borne droplets should not allow them to deliberately harass others who want to comply with public health advice.

After I paid for my groceries in a safe transaction, where the polite grocery clerk was behind a Plexiglas shield and a courteous gentleman put my purchases into clean plastic bags, I went to my car, sat inside and cried about the rudeness of a man who obviously singled me out, just because he could.

He was symptomatic of political polarization that has put the fundamentals of proven public health aside and will inevitably cause an exacerbation of the coronavirus pandemic. “We are all in this together” is lost on rude people who have no reason to harass those who want to diligently follow public health advice.

Juliana L’Heureux


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