First, the CDC told everyone to wear a mask. Then, Tom Hanks said a face covering is the least we can do. Next, Bill Nye took to TikTok to spread his message about mask-wearing, and now, new parents who were forced to give birth while wearing masks share their experiences in a bid to get others to put the dang things over their noses and mouths.
"I labored for 33hrs and gave birth wearing a mask," Kirsten Theriault wrote on Twitter. "I'm going to slap the next person who complains about having to wear one."
Childbirth is no joke, and it is certainly more strenuous than running errands or making a trip to the grocery store. New moms like Kirsten know that wearing a mask in everyday life isn't really a big deal, especially when compared with literally birthing a baby.
So new parents everywhere are sharing their stories in an effort to spread the idea that there really is no excuse for not wearing a mask in public. There are countless videos circulating in which customers are screaming and causing a scene because they don't want to put a piece of cloth over their face.
Parents who've given birth with masks on just aren't buying it. Amanda Rodriguez told Today that she has asthma and gave birth without pain medication... all while wearing a mask.
"My mom works at a salon and her customers complain all the time about wearing a mask," she said. "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. Was it comfortable? No. But I knew it was for my own safety."
New mom Jai Kerschner tweeted, "If I can wear a mask through 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. #WearADamnMask"
Speaking with Today, Jai said, "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. We all want to get back to our regularly scheduled lives. If we band together, we can stomp this out a little quicker."
Wearing a mask should be a no-brainer. But it has become a partisan political issue. The Pew Research Center found that while about two-thirds of Americans say they regularly wear a mask when they go out, less than half of people say they see "all or most" people in their communities wearing a mask out in public.
Julie Kite-Laidlaw, meanwhile, gave birth to twins in New York City in May. She wore a mask during her emergency C-section. She wore a mask for the next four days she spent in the hospital. And she also wore a mask for the following two weeks she spent visiting her newborn twins in the NICU.
Julie told Good Morning America, "If I can go through all of this with my kids, the birth and the two weeks in neonatal intensive care unit and not be horribly inconvenienced by just putting a piece of fabric over my face, surely other people can do it to pop out to the supermarket for an hour. There's so much we don't know about coronavirus. If you could save a life by just putting a mask on, why wouldn't you?
These new moms have a simple message for everyone. They did it, and their experience was way more harrowing than your trip to the salon or the grocery store. They did it because it's the right thing to do.
They did it because it could save lives. They did it because we're in the midst of a deadly pandemic. They did it even though they were going through the most grueling experience the human body goes through. What's your excuse?