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Pandemic Aggression

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Information can be an invaluable tool, but if one cannot vet or verify the source of that info, can it be trusted? A long time ago, I covered this topic on ASDNext, and Covid-19 has added another element to this that has had drastic results. But, unfortunately, the conspiracy has run wild, and even if you are non-confrontational, you may end up in a tense situation. So this month, I would like to highlight a particular encounter and how I endured it. 

I’m fully vaccinated, and I’ve worn a mask nearly every time I went out during the pandemic, and I still wear one even after certain restrictions were relaxed. When I go out, I keep to myself and don’t draw attention; I want to attend to tasks and keep moving. 

But a few months ago, it didn’t matter that I minded my own business; the fact that I was wearing a mask pushed someone over the edge. I live in a pretty big city, and on the day in question, I was walking to my local pharmacy to pick up a prescription when I neared the bus stop, and an older man approached me and yelled, “You shouldn’t be wearing that mask, the pandemic is a hoax!” I was startled by his words and decided to ignore him and keep it moving when the man grabbed me, and he attempted to remove my mask from my face physically. My flight and fight mode was triggered, and I pushed the man off of me and managed to put distance between us, and thankfully he didn’t continue to pursue me but went on to yell “it’s all a hoax.” 

You hear about these types of stories on the news, “an anti-masker does this or that,” but you never think something like this could happen to you, but it can. 

After that encounter, I didn’t call the police because I wasn’t hurt, and I didn’t want to think about what happened, and I did discuss this further with my therapist. Thankfully the attacker didn’t have a weapon, or it could have ended another way. I don’t understand why wearing a mask could push someone so far as to attempt to remove a stranger’s mask forcibly. 

I chose to wear a mask and to get vaccinated. Others can choose to do something else entirely, but they keep their hands to themselves. If someone wearing a face cover is so offensive, it pushes you into a rage it’s concerning, and you should seek help. 

I never encountered that man again, but if I did, I would certainly call the police. But, I want to get through this pandemic in peace, and this event was just out of this world. I hope that the readers and other bloggers of ASDNext haven’t had to deal with an encounter like mine. My only desire is to see people stay safe and healthy. So, until next time, please take care.


Ziggy is a Certified Peer Specialist in PA and currently resides in Pittsburgh. He is a member of the Let’s Act committee, a group of peers devoted to raising awareness about mental health care. In his downtime, he enjoys reading novels and watching nature documentaries.

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