I wore a mask today and I couldn’t breathe

January 20, 2021

-Nathalie Ramirez

In the year 2020 I wore a mask once; it was the first day of the city-wide mandate and I went to our mall to sell my crafts. I put it on in the car and took some pictures of myself, it was nearly Christmas and it was my first time putting one on and I really, really despised those pictures.

I walked into the mall and headed down the hallway to my station, and sitting on the corner, pretty much front and center, I mean they had the best real estate in the house, there sat an elderly couple with white hair defiantly not wearing masks. I immediately felt like a fool and as soon as I was able to put my stuff down I took the mask off and didn’t don it again that weekend or for the rest of 2020 for that matter. 

Today, on January the 19th I had to go to Verizon to activate a phone. Being a manager on the account, I had to be the one to do it. The phone wasn’t reading the SIM card and the rep had some trouble as well with it. I don’t know how long I sat there, it was between 15-25 minutes, and I was extremely lightheaded. I was trying to be patient but I really felt like I was about to pass out! 

It started off with feeling lightheaded, it hit me kind of hard I realized I had to focus all of my attention on trying to breathe. The phone had a pattern that I had to be there to decode to let the guy work. Minute after minute the lack of oxygen puts me in some sort of a lightheaded daze. Then the guy tells me he’s going to call account support to see if they can push it through, my stomach dropped. I was about to get up and tell him I needed to go outside and take a breath when he said the phone activated!  What a relief! 

I’m dramatic, yes, I will not lie, I am certainly not a liar, in fact, I’m a terrible liar; but I am not intending on making this debacle a Drama Queen one. I truly felt my blood pressure rise, I felt like I was suffocating and felt very claustrophobic. I couldn’t see below me and that threw my center of gravity off, trying to sit down on the chair I’m sure I looked very awkward almost bending over to see where to put my bottom; this made me even more dizzy.

After a while I thought maybe I was getting used to it, but then the guy asked me a question and I realized I was a bit foggy, I had to take a deep breath to clear my mind as I couldn’t so I felt panic. 

When I finally did make it outside my first breath of fresh air made me a different kind of lightheaded. 

While I was there, there was a very elderly gentleman trying to convince the sales rep that they didn’t need to bother his wife cos she has memory problems, they said no she’s the manager on the account they need to talk to her, they said she could call a number to add him, he said she couldn’t make that phone call without him there to help  her because of her memory issues. What really bothered me the most is that the lady was taking to him like if he was dumb, saying things in a way to get him to understand but it was patronizing; his ears are old, that doesn’t make him dumb.

So then he leaves and comes back a little later with his wife. They walk in and the rep manning the Convid door yells at them that only one of them can come in at a time, right away he hangs his head and then the lady proceeds to say it 3 or more times for the wife’s benefit. They tell this 70 plus year old man that he has to wait outside in 35 degree weather….while they talk to his wife with memory problems without him there….

I’m trying to focus on breathing and this scene is angering me to the core I couldn’t take it anymore! 

Just then, the phone was activated, and I didn’t get to see the interaction with the wife and that was probably for the best.

There were 6 Verizon employees working, wearing their masks and their gloves, all huddled together while they waited for customers, talking about eating pizza and other junk food. I call this: Bacterial Bias.

Bacterial Bias(BB) is when people share each other’s germs but then take offense to germs they haven’t encountered yet, a couple or group is separated by social distancing yet they all share their own same germs. BB can also be seen when a person puts nothing but junk into their bodies and then are afraid of what comes out of other people. BB is seen when people are alone in their cars wearing a mask, fearing their own germs and bacteria.

Science and common sense has been thrown out the window replaced with convenience that isn’t really that convenient. I grew up with germaphobes so I’ve been knowledgeable of proper hygiene techniques, to the point of ocd sometimes, since I was a kid. Public doors are not to be touched, bacterial sanitizer is a must in the purse, and pizza is to be eaten with a knife and fork. There’s a difference between good and bad bacteria and masks act as a Pandora’s box in keeping out the good with the bad. Our gut is a mainframe of information, it’s balance determines the level of health of the individual, a good balance of healthy bacteria is necessary for the gut micro biome. Bacteria and viruses are different, yes, but the bodies reaction to fight with the immune system as the main form of defense is the same.


This scene, with the Verizon employees and the elderly gentleman and my own inability to breathe is etched in my mind. I’ve always considered myself to be sensitive, and having been pregnant twice I’ve focused a lot of time and attention to my body and how it feels and all of movements inside and out; the feeling of wearing a mask was torture. 

Masks have been used as a form of torture in Guantanamo Bay:

I have been against them since day one, fiercely so, and now that I’ve put myself through the torture of preventing my own breathing, this feeling has multiplied.

I will not be wearing one again. 

#calixtosgarden #plantingseeds #masksaretorture 

Published by Nathalie Ramirez

My love for humanity, and for the planet, has set me on a path of healing through love, compassion, and understanding. I'm originally from a big city in the big state of Texas, making my personality quite large. I then landed in a small town that's out-of-puzzles gorgeous where people still wave at each other when coming across each other in the street. This transition has helped my development and tried relationships with distance and sacrifice. I have 2 beautiful boys, Silas and Declan, and their loving father, Curtis, who make my world go round. My political views all stem from wanting to protect this beauty in all its forms.

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