OPINION: Karen vs. Karen

  • Online complaints over masks are putting Alaska businesses in the middle of a fight they didn’t seek as they struggle to survive the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo/David J. Phillip/AP)

Whether you are pro-mask or anti-mask, I really can’t stand you right now.

The online crusade of keyboard Karens on both sides of the dumbest debate since tastes great versus less filling is doing real damage to business owners caught in the crossfire of a battle they didn’t choose and are desperately trying to avoid as they struggle to survive a threat to their livelihoods that is far greater than the one between the armchair epidemiologists duking it out on dueling social media groups.

Let’s just settle this right now.

If you get online to brag about not wearing a mask, you’re a Karen.

If you get online to brag about wearing a mask, you’re a Karen.

If you get online to snitch on a business for asking you to wear a mask, you’re a Karen.

If you get online to snitch on a business if someone isn’t wearing a mask, you’re a Karen.

If you harass people for wearing or not wearing a mask … well, you should get it by now.

Stop being Karens.

Mind your own business, and for goodness’ sake stop trying to hurt businesses.

Because whether you are pro-mask or anti-mask, the thing many if not most of these Karens have in common is nothing at risk.

It costs them nothing to fire off a Facebook post telling people to boycott a business.

It costs them nothing to claim how awesome they are for resisting or for complying.

At a time when literally every customer counts for the small business owners who make up the vast majority of the job creators in this state, your Karening can cost plenty.

We can agree that wearing masks is inconvenient for most of us, but some are making up for it generating a dopamine response by telling everyone what they think about it.

We have enough to worry about without a bunch of self-deputized TSA agents running around getting into people’s health conditions or whipping out their pocket constitution looking for the amendment that says “thou shall not order me to wear a mask.”

If something at a business upsets you and you just have to say something, go half-Karen and talk to a manager. There’s no need to grab your phone and tell the world about it.

Never go full Karen.

Think about whether your fears or your feelings are driving your actions, and if they are, either adjust your behavior accordingly or adjust your attitude.

Because you’re not helping.

You’re making this worse, and you’re tearing our community apart.

In a polarized world it may be hard to accept that two things can be true at the same time: the virus can reach a vulnerable member of the population if people aren’t careful and ceding any amount of personal freedom to the government is an inch it will routinely turn into a mile.

If it helps to relieve the justifiable personal stress of months of pandemic panic that’s been foisted upon us, there is no riper target than the federal government health experts like Surgeon General Jerome Adams or the lovable Dr. Fauci who have admitted they lied to us at the onset about wearing masks.

The answer, however, is not to compound the government’s squandering of the public trust through its dishonesty over masks by turning on each other or turning each other in through Facebook groups or [email protected].

Don’t be a Karen. In the interest of gender equity, don’t be a Dick, either.

Andrew Jensen can be reached at [email protected].

07/01/2020 - 10:03am