Masks; No One WANTS to Wear Them

In this episode of the Journey podcast, Masks; No One WANTS to Wear Them, Jon, Terry, Andie and Don discuss their thoughts on wearing masks while we fight this global pandemic together and work through the disagreements that arise from that topic. All while reminding us all of our common goal: the return of some normalcy and our responsibility to treat others with respect.


Terry: Every year families get together at Thanksgiving or Christmas, and there’s always, you know, somebody has it totally different political view than them, or, you know, and what I try to encourage people to do is try to look at what you guys have in common, faster than what you don’t have in common.

You know, it’s like with COVID for instance, or with masks, everybody, you, you kind of said it, everybody wants this to go away. I think we, we all have that in common. Whether you want masks, you don’t want masks. You know, I think altogether, we just want this to go away and we want, we want life to kind of go back to what we thought was normal before

Jon: Hello and welcome to this edition of Journey Coaching podcast. I’m your host today, Jon Why and I have with me, our guests, Terry Carlson, Andy Carlson, and Don Evans. Today, we welcome all three of you and, we’re actually recording this via Zoom, as we’re distancing for this particular topic today. 

Today’s discussion I’d like to say is very timely. Although we’ve been talking about it for quite a while now. The latest indicators, positive testing in the state of Iowa where we’re recording this today and outside the state or that, the incidents of COVID-19 or on a rising with positive tests, that is true here in the United States.

Also true, around the world right now, as we head into what is traditionally our cold and flu season. COVID has not taken a break, it seems, over the summer and has really kind of come back strong here in the fall. Just in the past few days, the governor of our state of Iowa, Kim Reynolds has indicated this increase in COVID and, also, encouraged all of us, especially with certain amounts of gatherings, to begin to mask up, and to wear a mask for our own protection and for that of others, in public, in certain amounts of gatherings. 

And so, really, for governor Reynolds, one of the strongest probably recommendations of mask wearing that, that certainly has come from, from our state, but, nonetheless, not out of line with what other States have done around the world.

So, with that in mind today, our guests are going to, to really kind of chat about a couple of things. One is, you know, their thoughts on mask wearing and their experiences with that. And so, you know, as we head into this, we’d also like to talk a little bit about what it means to those of us around us and how, what relationally we’re dealing with mask wearing. So, Terry of course is a, counselor and no stranger to, these podcasts, as Don Evans is as well. Don the, resident, regular guy, that talks about his experiences in life. And, then we have Andy Carlson with us today.

Andy is a nurse. And, works in, in surgical nursing and, has experiences, no doubt, with, personal protective equipment every day that she works. And so, with that in mind, I want to toss our first question out to Terry today. To start off with, what’s science kind of telling us about mask wearing right now and what the importance of it is to this experience that we’re having with COVID-19?

Terry: I’ve done a lot of looking into this, a lot of research. Of course, as a counselor I’m looking at it from one end of it, I’m also a nurse. And so I look at it from, that end of it as well.

Basically the way I understand mask wearing is not a hundred percent protection against something like COVID. It does reduce the risks of exposure. Also, There’s some indications that wearing a mask will reduce your viral load, which means if you become exposed to COVID, you may have a smaller, viral load, which could perhaps translate into a lesser degree of the virus itself as how you would experience it. 

Jon: Andy, in your experiences as a nurse, you know, obviously, in any facility that you would go in, from a care facility right now to a hospital, to a doctor’s office, I would say at my physical on Monday, had to have my PPE on.

I made my face mask, ready to, to go as I walked into the building, you experience this every day. what are your thoughts right now on, on, masking and, and what that looks like in society?

Andy: well, good question. Thank you. My first thoughts jumped to, just that I feel like everyone should be doing it, but everyone is tired of it too at the same time. And it’s frustrating for everyone, but I guess me as a healthcare worker, I’m more on the side of acceptance where, this is something I have to do.

I need to protect my patients and this is the best way to do it, at this point in time. And so, I’ve definitely accepted that fact. It’s just a matter of, trying to spread the word that, hey, this is a thing that works, but it works best when everyone does it. Especially when they’re out in public.

Jon: Yeah. And that’s a great point. I would imagine as a nurse, both Terry and Andy, you were trained on the proper use of wearing a mask, which probably was a surgical mask maybe at that point when you were trained on that. I know that we teach those courses at the college I work for, everything from how to take off your gloves properly to, stop spreading disease, to wearing a mask.

So do you see a lot of improper wearing of masks, in general out there right now?

Andy: I still just the other day, yeah, I’ve seen at least one or two, if I am going out and about that, either aren’t wearing a mask or they’re wearing the mask not covering their nose. And every time, I haven’t been that close to them, but I felt like if I was a little closer, I would have said something like, hey, did you know that it needs to be over both your mouth and your nose?

And here’s why that is. 

Jon: Yeah. Well, I’m sure people appreciate, you know, being told they’re not wearing masks properly. And I’m saying that facetiously, but, on the other hand I had a friend that I was talking to the other day that does not like to wear a mask in public, and was reminded by a man with a very heavy beard whose mask was not even covering most of the beard, that he should have his mask on. And he said, you know, I wanted to say, yeah, why don’t you shave your beard so you can wear your mask properly and not have it all pulling out underneath you. Which leads me to Don. Don, you are, often the voice of, reason here and, we’ve had a reasonable conversation.

We’ve heard from two nurses about, what mask wearing is for and why it’s important. And, I suspect, you know, knowing you, that you probably have a difference in opinion on  wearing masks. So what are your thoughts? 

Don: What would lead you to think that I would have a different opinion, sir?

Jon: I don’t know, just a hunch, maybe.

Don: Let me throw in just real briefly as we confirm, which I’m gracious that Terry and Andy are both registered nurses.

I have a 29 year old daughter that’s an RN in Sterling, Illinois. I do John, you don’t know, years ago, a medical background I was certified EMT, emergency medical technician. Of course, naturally the first things we’re trained for is to. Dig people out of the car accidents, heart attack, patients, breathing patients.

So I was able to obtain a lot of information as a medic. The first thing that comes to mind with me is I’m convinced that I want people to breathe properly. Obviously, a mask is not the best way for somebody that’s lacking air. We would all agree on that. That’s not even a debatable issue. But it does concern me very much the, one of the statistics that I know and you two nurses going to jump in and counter me if you think I’m wrong. But every time we exhale, we exhale 3% of carbon monoxide, each human being does every time you breathe out. So when you put a mask on. You are breathing your own carbon monoxide. That naturally is not good in any situation whatsoever.

And then we go to Terry. I know you’re asthmatic. My girlfriend is asthmatic and had a lung removed. The medical professional would tell you folks, I’m sure be very cautious that wearing a mask. With that being said, I have gotten over my fits of rage about wearing masks. And I want to, for my side of this podcast today, which is going to shock all of you, I want to make my main focus on just how we can get through this.

I’ve done a little bit of looking into different bullet things. I do have just one quote, many, but I narrowed it down to one. And John, I just want to say that, I think that’s the most important thing we want to accomplish today is to help people understand is, as Andy said a minute ago, you know, I might’ve said something basically we’re a little closer and that’s okay. I’m cool with that. but here again, we gotta be careful with that because I was verbally approached in a clinic, in an office in the chiropractor’s office. And the lady was very upset that Don wasn’t wearing a mask. And we exchanged a few words. And the short story is I asked for forgiveness. I got a little hot headed about it, but here’s where I’m going but we’ll go away from that. And can I just say this? I, this caught my eye really quick. When today, I was cruising through preparing for this. 

When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where the power is. So for me, I’m challenged with the masks.

I’m an old, or 62 years old, which is an old, I do have a extreme belief and trust. I’m a Jesus Christ follower. I don’t feel that God created us to be suffocated with a mask. That’s just my opinion. And I have to learn how to, I have to understand how to fit in because I’m a friendly kind of guy. And I can offend people very easily.

I’ve been unspoken and until yesterday, when this lady said that, and I kinda snapped because I’m just tired of the whole program. And I, but I want to try to get along with everybody. And I’m in Journey Coaching where I build relationships, not make people mad. And yesterday wasn’t my star day.

Jon: Well, I think we all have those, from time to time and, you know, we’ve talked about a lot of things , topic-wise on these podcasts. And I think, you know, there is a major of, the population. who’s a little melancholy about all of this right now. I would agree that I think we’re all, tired.

we’re all a little stretched and we’re all, I don’t know. I don’t want to hear about COVID-19 anymore and I don’t want to wear a mask either. But the point of the matter is-

Don: We’ve also forgot about our God-given immune systems. 

Haven’t we? 

Jon: Well, to some extent, and I guess I’d throw that back to, to our nurses.

Don: The nurses respond to that.

Jon: Terry. I mean, your, your, your immune system is important. And we develop that. I mean, I grew up on a farm where I ate probably just about everything that was around, to put in my mouth as a young boy and, certainly I got my share of sicknesses, but I, as an adult, I have a pretty strong immune system.

I maybe get sick about every two or three years. And, so is there a, is there a point to some of that, that we’re, that we’re hampering that, and I don’t want to belabor that too much, but does Don have a point?

Terry: You know, I, I, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of people I’ve heard what Don has said, by several different types of people or different people. And I, I, I totally understand where he’s going and there’s a couple of points of that. He said that I kind of want to address, but the part about the immune system, I think it’s, it’s really important to realize that, this is, this is, this is not just a cold or a flu.

This is, this is something that’s a lot more deadly. In fact, over five times the number of people have died right now this year from COVID than usually die from the flu in a year. we’ve had basically five years worth of people dying from the flu in this one year and the year’s not over yet. And so this is a little bit different.

Our immune systems haven’t, up until March, February, March, whenever this really started, all of our collective immune systems haven’t seen this before and our immune systems really only work when they have experienced something. And so I think one of the reasons this has been a bigger issue this year is because, normally when the flu goes around, there’s a, there’s a huge percentage of people who’ve, who’ve had it. They’re immune to it. Percentage of people who have had it partially. And so they get a smaller version of it. So the flu itself doesn’t usually hit like this. 

I I’d like to, I’d like to also talk a little bit about the masks and the asthma. I do I have asthma and it does cause me to feel like I’m breathing harder when I’m breathing in a mask.

And that’s one of the reasons why I’ve chosen to work from home. I’m a therapist. And so I use Zoom to do my sessions, because wearing a mask all day would be very difficult with my asthma. That said, I like to look at what is, I like to look at data instead of just, you know, ideas or, we can have thoughts about something. 

So what I did was I did my own research for myself. And again, that’s not a big study, it’s just a little case study, but I have an oximeter at home. It measures the amount of oxygen in your blood. And I put that on my finger and I, I was kind of watching my oximeter and what it normally reads.

And then I put my mask on and I kept it on for about 10 minutes. And I was looking to see, I wanted to know, would my oximeter go down? Was I breathing less? If the mask was causing me to not get enough oxygen, then it should have shown up in my oximeter. And the reality is it didn’t change.

It didn’t budge. In fact, my oximeter at one point actually went up and I don’t quite know why that would be, but it, it, it gave me a sense of assurance that I can wear my mask at least for short times, and it doesn’t cause significant damage. I guess I want to throw it to Andy and see if she has anything to add on this.

Andy: I wear my mask for. Let’s see, by that time I’m walking into the hospital, I leave my car, I walk into the hospital, I have a mask on, change it over to a surgical mask. When I get up to my, surgical med-surg floor. And then I wear that mask, pretty much for, let’s see about 14 hours. My shift is 12 hours, but I get there early to look up my patients.

And then I’m there usually about an hour, afterwards just doing handoff report. So it’s about 14 hours. I’m wearing my mask. I’ll maybe, take it off briefly if I get a chance to, have a break, in the break room, like, you know, socially distanced from my other coworkers, but otherwise, I mean, that’s the only thing that I have to go off of.

And me being a pretty healthy specimen. No, no respiratory issues. I mean, it’s not, has not been an issue for myself, but that’s about all that I have to go off of. But it’s a pretty long time. 

Jon: Andy, I have a quick follow up for you. Do you, do you have any recommendations? I mean, obviously you probably wear your own personal mask in from your, from your car to the hospital, and then you put on a surgical mask, which you probably dispose of. Right? Those are probably disposable. What, what do you do with your own personal mask? I mean, how should- a little mask etiquette, yeah, for us. I mean, should I, should the mask I wear at work every day, should I be washing that out every day, every week, every month, or just when it smells bad or what should I be doing with those? Because I think that’s part of wearing the mask properly, right? I mean, I touch it all the time. He’s moving it. I mean, You know, you have underwear and have 20 pairs. So I don’t have to change it all the time.

Andy: If it’s, if it’s starting to smell, that’s a bigger issue. I’d say, get rid of that one and then definitely have some backups. And I’d say if you’re, out wearing that mask every day, it needs to be washed every, every night and, and then have your backup ready for the next day.

Jon: A little soap and water a little, what should I be washing that thing in? 

Andy: Yeah, I throw mine in the, in the laundry, hot water and soap.

Jon: Well, I would have to learn how to do laundry after 57 years. I’m not looking forward to that, but I take that to heart and I, you know, I do need to clean my mask probably more often. 

Don: I’ll help with the laundry, John. I just did mine this afternoon as a bachelor.

Jon: I’ll save them up. Don. I’ll bring them to you next time and you can wash all my masks.

Don: Good brother. I’ll show you. 

Jon: Yeah, I’ll initial my name on them.

Terry: I think having, having a mask that’s comfortable is a really key point in all of this, too. If it’s not comfortable, we’re not going to wear it. We’re not going to feel good about it. I had some masks that I made by hand. I love them. They’re really, really comfortable. And then my, my son said I had to have one of these N95 masks. And so I went and got one and I hate it. It’s it’s, it’s tight around my ears and I’m going to go back to my cloth mask, but don’t tell him.

Jon: I found one that I like too. I, I ordered several, didn’t like them, I’ve been wearing the disposable ones at work and using those every day and then disposing of it. But I finally found one that was measured from my nose to my ear and, and very comfortable, and it has the nose bridge on it that it works.

And so, I, you know, I guess you’re right. You find something that works and that fits you and is doesn’t cause you to have a headache or pull your ears open and, or, you know, is not sealed. around it the way it should be. You know, you have to look a little bit, but I think there’s, there’s one out there.

So, so the, the question is, you know, we all, I don’t know that we’ll all agree on every component of wearing a mask and what we wear them for, but we all agree that, I think that, COVID is a nasty little virus, and  it sure is affecting every part of our lives right now. And, Andy is, Andy seems pretty young yet, but I, you know, at 57 years, Terry and Don, we, we haven’t seen anything that really stopped us, like this has, and Terry has explained that it’s different.

So the fact is that we are going to have to live with this a little while longer. What does that mean to how we live on this beautiful blue marble with other people? I mean, we, we have to get along. We have to, you know, we have to work with people that, that maybe think different than, than we do. This is really no different in my mind than, you know, the last political round that we just went through.

Not everybody’s gonna agree on politics and not, everybody’s going to agree on, whether we should all wear a mask on a regular basis. And so Don, you mentioned, an incident you had at your chiropractor’s office and you’re not happy about that. I know you’re not, and you’re not satisfied with the way that ended and apologize for that.

But going forward, how do you, how do you build relationships here in a time of COVID in a time of, we’re not all on the same page with what we see or what we believe with this, but yet, you know, we are, designed as humans to have relationship into. and, and to live on this planet with, with others.

And so, how, how do we navigate that? What do you, what are your thoughts on that? Having, having succeeded and failed a little bit in that relationship, 

Don: You know, and then just to clarify, Jon, for the listeners, it’s not that I’m unhappy about it. I went to Bible men’s group last night, feeling shame for getting upset with that.

I’m not trying to justify it or make an excuse for it, but I know that you and Terry and I, I’m not leaving you out Andy and God bless  you, but Jon’s right. You’re a lot younger than us, but we all remember it. You still hear it to this day. It used to be something I used to say a lot before I became a Christian before I knew anything about Journey Coaching, but can’t we all just get along?

That’s what I’m setting me yesterday guys is I’ve never said a word to anybody since COVID started. I haven’t said, oh, you’re stupid for wearing mask or make fun of them or pick you out of a crowd. I just mind my own business and walk on it. Masks aren’t required. I choose not to wear one I’m in the age group that should be concerned. I’ll be 62 this month, but I’m not because, as I said earlier, I have a lot of trust and that trust comes from Christ. And I don’t want this to go, you know, for our listeners that are out there, that aren’t Christ followers to think that I’m segregating or I’m racist, you know, I’m just simply saying, since you asked, I trust the good Lord to keep me safe.

And I don’t say anything to anybody, whether you wear a mask or not. And again, I’ll go back to what I just said. Can’t we all just get along and try to get through this because relationships are important. And if you’re making your coworkers mad or even somebody in public, you know, but I just don’t think that’s a good way to go about it.

We, we are, I’ll be happy that we’re able to get up and around and just kind of go with the flow and hope this thing goes away. Cause we all are pretty tired of it.

Jon: Yeah. Yeah. Terry, you know, I, I sent a little, verse from scripture out to everybody this afternoon. It was this Paul from Corinthians first Corinthians nine.

That just talks about just paraphrasing being, being really everything to everyone. And, in, in what he meant by that was, was with relation to him, building a relationship with somebody that he wanted to talk about something important, being Christ at this point. And, and, and being that kind of, I guess, a chameleon to, to be able to, to build relationship.

And, Terry, have you, have you had any experience with, with people struggling, first of all, with this kinds of things, especially maybe in counseling, but, but how do you encourage someone to, to really kind of be that way? To be someone that that builds relationship with others. 

Terry: No, I think that’s a great question.

When I’m talking to clients who are struggling with family relationships and, and things, you know, because this isn’t new. Every year, families get together at Thanksgiving or Christmas, and there’s always, you know, somebody that has it totally different political view than them, or, you know, and what I try to encourage people to do is try to look at what you guys have in common, faster than what you don’t have in common.

You know, it’s like with COVID for instance, or with masks, everybody, you you’ve kind of said it. Everybody wants this to go away. I think we, we all have that in common. Whether you want masks, you don’t want masks. You know, I think altogether, we just want this to go away and we want, we want life to kind of go back to what we thought was normal before.

And that’s, that’s the piece we have in common and let’s go to where we have things in common and talk about that. I think even with the politics, you know, you can say one side or the other side, but ultimately we just, we all want to have a lot of the same things. We want to have the freedom to have the, you know, to work where we want to, we want to make money enough to survive and maybe, you know, take a vacation from time to time and, you know, ultimately looking at what is it that we want, what is it that we have as similarities? And stay in that realm rather than looking at the differences. 

Jon: Yeah. Great, great point. Andy, anything you’d add to that? About, just maybe from the standpoint of, you know, maybe any experiences you have working in the medical field of, of relations relationships, things that, you see is maybe, a way we can navigate, what we’re going through right now.

Andy: Yeah. I like what Terry had said too. We all, we all want this to go away. We are all sick of this. Like just taking that step back, thinking about, you know, the morals and values that most of us have in common, I think is a good way to start. 

We all, like, how do I want to say this? Like, we all want to be kind to one another, nobody wants to spread diseases to one another. So, I mean, I guess the way I see it as just a simple thing of, I mean, I see it as simple, wearing a mask. Just to help, help stop the spread. especially if like, If the younger people are more asymptomatic.


Terry: I think you’re the point you’re trying to make is that, I think I go back to when I was a child and the lesson that my parents tried to teach us all the time was, you know, treat others the way you want to be treated. And I want people to treat me with respect.

So I’m going to do my best to try to treat others with that respect. 

Jon: Yeah. Yeah. And that does include Minnesota and Nebraska fans as well with the Minnesota game coming up here this week. You know, great point about treating others as you would like to be treated. Here’s the, and I’m going to have you all do kind of a final thought on this, but, you know, I think, in the big scheme of things, we all have, fallen short sometimes, in how we build those relationships. And I think that, I’m really proud of my, my brother Don down here. I say that because he’s at the bottom of my screen. Right, right now on the zoom meeting. 

You may have not handled that situation correctly at the beginning, but to go back and apologize and, to, to let somebody know, hey, you blew it.

And I had to do that a lot of times in my life, cause I have a quick tongue and you know, I think that’s, that’s what it’s about. You know, I think it’s that respect. I think it’s knowing when, sometimes maybe we did not say the right thing at the right time, to be able to go back and, and, admit that and, and apologize for that.

That goes a long way at building relationship with somebody else. You may never be friends with that person, but at least they’re walking away thinking. Okay. You know, hey there, but for the grace of God go, I, I probably could have said the same thing. So Don, any final thoughts for this topic today?

Don: Yeah. And it’d be right to that point. There also Jon, and when I shared that with the group last night, the guys, because it was weighing heavy on my heart, I was feeling a lot of shame. And two of the older fellows that were 78, one is 87. I’m very close friends with both of them. And, stopped me after I tell him the story.

And he said, Don, do you realize what you just did? I, I made a fool of myself and I acted out of context, but I, I’m not trying to defend it, but I didn’t start the issue, but I’m very defensive. Terry knows that I’ve had counseling over the years for anger issues and some of the guys that one younger fellow said he did too, but here’s the thing I’ll close and shut up with this.

The one gentlemen said to me, Don, don’t feel shame. I said why? And he said, because think about something, you immediately, according to your story told you are sorry, asked for forgiveness  and explained that, you know, you were deeply sorry. And she has no reason to forgive you. He said, what would the same Don done two years ago for people who’ve listened to our, our past podcast two years ago, dad was an alcoholic and a drunk.

You couldn’t even go to church. So he said you did the right thing, not by doing what you did, but by apologizing and asking for forgiveness. You don’t realize that you planted a seed in that lady’s mind, but we don’t know if she’s a Christian lady or not, but she’s going to remember that you at least were man enough to stand there in front of everybody and ask for forgiveness and apologize.

So in a sense, don’t you think you were starting a relationship right there in that office that, you may never see her again, but aren’t we at Journey all about relationships. I went about that when the wrong way I’m owning that. I’m taking full responsibility for it, but maybe it planted a seed in her and she might someday go or that night last night go, geez, that was pretty awesome thing. That guy did go apologize for pat on the back, but maybe that brews the seed in her mind that, Hey, maybe I should show a little more grace too. 

Jon: Yup. Grace seems to be a common word. Patience, at this point. Andy, any final thoughts from you? 


Andy: I guess, I just think everyone needs a little bit more empathy towards others and especially since it’s so, I mean, the world is a different place out there right now. Change is hard. People don’t like change. I don’t like change. I’m really excited to not have to wear a mask for 12 hours during one of my work shifts. So I’m looking forward to that day, but it’ll be well worth it if it’s, if we’re able to defeat this pandemic.

I mean, I think if we all just take a step back and realize everyone’s going through something different, that can go a long way. 

Jon: Won’t that be strange? The day we don’t have to walk in with a mask on anymore and it’d almost be surreal. So Terry, your final thoughts. 

Terry: I think I was sitting here thinking about that.

And I think one of the things I’d like to encourage people is, remember that you don’t walk in anybody else’s shoes, that you have no idea, that person that you walk up to, you know, they it’s like the woman that you’re talking about done. You know, we don’t know where she was walking, what she was doing, what her life was like before that moment your lives intersected.

And I think just reminding ourselves that we don’t walk in anybody else’s shoes. So we have no idea what baggage they’re carrying what issues they’re dealing with. How much fear they’re experiencing. And so again, just trying to treat people the way we want to be treated. 

Jon: Yeah, very well said and, and a great way to close this.

First of all, I like to thank, Andy for joining us tonight. Terry and Don, it’s always a pleasure to, to hear your thoughts and, and expertise on these topics we talk about, and we appreciate you taking the time tonight, out there to catch this podcast, and we encourage you to listen to the other podcasts at

Journey Coaching relationship, strengths, and purpose. We encourage you to begin to maximize your life through one-on-one coaching until next time I’m Jon Why.

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