Parents are physically fighting over masks outside schools, even as pediatricians recommend all kids wear them and families are making impassioned pleas for mandates.
In 2020, a Florida man was filmed shoving a Walmart employee after he was told that he could not enter the store without a mask. Three days later, in a Los Angeles Trader Joe’s, a shopper who refused to cover her face caused a scene, calling crew members “democratic pigs.”
These are the kinds of stories that fill Amanda Rodriguez with rage. Rodriguez, who has asthma, gave birth without pain medication — and she did it while wearing a mask.
“My mom works at a salon and her customers complain all the time about wearing a mask,” the Lockhart, Texas-based teacher told TODAY Parents. “I’m like, if I can push through labor with a mask on, I think your customers can go through a haircut with theirs on.”
Related: State-by-state guide to school face mask mandates
Rodriguez, 28, happily kept her mouth and nose under wraps for her entire two day stay at the hospital.
“Was it comfortable? No. But I knew it was for my own safety,” she explained. "It's irritating to me that people are upset they have to wear a mask to the grocery store."
Moms who wore masks during childbirth are expressing similar frustrations on Twitter.
“I dislike inconvenience and discomfort as much as the next person, but I wore a mask while giving birth to a whole-ass baby. Who are these feeble losers who whine about wearing masks to run half-hour errands?” novelist Steph Cha wrote.
In a follow-up tweet, Cha added, “I kept it on when I saw my baby in the NICU, even thought it meant waiting to kiss him until we went home. But sure, you need your deep breaths in the frozen food aisle…”
Jai Kershner, a radio host in Nashville, Tennessee, echoed the sentiment.
“If I can wear a mask though 38 hours of labor, a c-section, and recovery… you can do it for an hour while running to the grocery store and/or other errands,” Kershner wrote. “#WearADamnMask.”
Kershner, 36, has asthma, which means she may be at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
“Wearing a mask is at most an inconvenience. You’re not losing your freedom. Be inconvenienced for a little bit and let's protect each other,” Kershner told TODAY Parents. "We all want to get back to our regularly scheduled lives. If we ban together, we can stomp this out a little quicker."
What you need to know about kids and masks as summer endsAug. 24, 202101:34
This story was originally published in June 2020 and has been updated.