Oregonians are now required to wear masks in most social situations unless we're medically unable to do so. But what are these medical conditions that make it so impossible to put a thin piece of fabric on your face? —Lone Ranger
Unfortunately for snappy comebacks, Ranger, the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (aka DSM-5) doesn't include "being an asshole" as a recognized medical condition. Still, you see where I'm headed.
I'm not saying there aren't people with legitimate clinical reasons to skip the mask. I'm just saying that if you're at Costco waving a "Don't Tread on Me" flag while you try to Patrick Henry your way out of wearing a mask for the 15 minutes it takes to buy a pallet of mayonnaise, you're probably not one of them.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are only three reasons not to wear a mask: (1) You're a baby, (2) you're unconscious, (3) you already have trouble breathing.
Obviously, No. 3 is the category you're aiming for, but don't get too excited—they're talking about people who have trouble breathing because of serious illness, not those who simply find it too cognitively demanding.
And anyway, if your respiratory condition really is serious, you'll already know you're at elevated risk for COVID-19 and will be only too happy to avoid exposure to it by accepting alternative accommodations required under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
That's right—not only does getting in a fistfight with a Walmart greeter blow an elephant-sized hole in your claim to be so medically fragile you can't muster the strength to breathe through a Handi-Wipe, thanks to ADA regulations that donnybrook is entirely unnecessary.
You can avoid the horror of donning that death-dealing mask by simply calling the establishment ahead of time and requesting a "reasonable modification" to their mask policy. They'll almost certainly be willing to entertain alternatives like substituting a plastic face shield for the mask, letting you wait in the car for curbside delivery, or even delivering an order to your house.
As long as you plan ahead rather than just showing up and making a scene, they will more than likely do this for you even if they know you're full of shit and your only "disability" is that you're an asshole. (And, like I said, that one doesn't count—at least, not until DSM-6 comes out.)