How Do You Stop Neighbors from Fighting Over Who’s Right in the Mask Debate?

For the time being, masks do not seem like they are going anywhere. While COVID-19 isn’t precisely airborne, that doesn’t stop the virus from spreading each time that our lungs exhale. The moisture droplets from our mouths and chest cavity help the germs spread across surfaces and from there, to other people who can be seriously damaged by the illness. This is why the CDC has recommended people wear masks – not to restrict airflow, but to restrict the moisture contained in every chin wag a person can perform.

Not everyone agrees with this sentiment.

COVIDIOT

For the time being, masks do not seem like they are going anywhere. While COVID-19 isn’t precisely airborne, that doesn’t stop the virus from spreading each time that our lungs exhale. The moisture droplets from our mouths and chest cavity help the germs spread across surfaces and from there, to other people who can be seriously damaged by the illness. This is why the CDC has recommended people wear masks – not to restrict airflow, but to restrict the moisture contained in every chin wag a person can perform.

Not everyone agrees with this sentiment.

We can all agree that Urban Dictionary isn’t the safest or most polite place to browse the internet. Yet, in cases like this, it can be quite helpful. Throughout 2020, there has been a trend of leaning one of two ways. It’s not often humanity can be divided into binary sections, but this is one of those cases – will you wear a mask, or won’t you? Among those who decided not to wear a mask began brewing a section of people called ‘Covidiots’ or, COVID Karens (and Kens).

pile of books
pile of books

COVIDIOT

We can all agree that Urban Dictionary isn’t the safest or most polite place to browse the internet. Yet, in cases like this, it can be quite helpful. Throughout 2020, there has been a trend of leaning one of two ways. It’s not often humanity can be divided into binary sections, but this is one of those cases – will you wear a mask, or won’t you? Among those who decided not to wear a mask began brewing a section of people called ‘Covidiots’ or, COVID Karens (and Kens).

Covidiot

Relating to the 2020 Covid-19 virus:

Someone who ignores the warnings regarding public health or safety.

Urban Dictionary

Broadly speaking, despite widespread research and legal rulings, these are people who refuse – and vocally so – to wear a mask.

To be frank – masks can be very uncomfortable. With the September heat ruling with a smothering iron grip, your warm breath back on your face can feel all too much and incredibly overwhelming. Unfortunately, that is not today’s debate.

How Do You Handle Neighboring ‘Covidiots’ and ‘Karens’

Covidiot

Relating to the 2020 Covid-19 virus:

Someone who ignores the warnings regarding public health or safety.

Urban Dictionary

Broadly speaking, despite widespread research and legal rulings, these are people who refuse – and vocally so – to wear a mask.

To be frank – masks can be very uncomfortable. With the August heat ruling with a smothering iron grip, your warm breath back on your face can feel all too much and incredibly overwhelming. Unfortunately, that is not today’s debate.

hand sanitizer and masks

A property manager’s job is to, shortly speaking, provide a safe habitat for living. Many people believe that this now includes facial mask rulings in public spaces. For larger apartment complexes, this could include a coffee corner, laundry room, exercise room, pool area, and other open, walking spaces such as hallways or entry spaces.

hand sanitizer and masks

How Do You Handle Neighboring ‘Covidiots’ and ‘Karens’

A property manager’s job is to, shortly speaking, provide a safe habitat for living. Many people believe that this now includes facial mask rulings in public spaces. For larger apartment complexes, this could include a coffee corner, laundry room, exercise room, pool area, and other open, walking spaces such as hallways or entry spaces.

One cannot force their residents to wear a mask. No one is expecting you to go storming into every apartment demanding they wear a mask. You are NOT the mask police! There’s a legal limit to what you can and cannot enforce.

You are, however, allowed to enforce policies, which several of these Covidiots figured out. Most likely, your policies do have a general guideline of protecting the health and safety of your property, which may or may not directly include wearing a mask in public spaces. You may also have to adhere to local law that legally enforces masks and social distancing. For example, one California property had its power completely turned off by the mayor because of the inhabitants refusal to obey COVID-19 social distancing laws.

You can start with reminders, such as a poster in public spaces alerting people to policy about wearing masks. While your Covidiot tenants may complain, remind them that it is not only your right and the property owner’s right to have this safeguard, it is also your duty to other residents to safeguard their health.

One cannot force their residents to wear a mask. No one is expecting you to go storming into every apartment demanding they wear a mask. You are NOT the mask police! There’s a legal limit to what you can and cannot enforce.

You are, however, allowed to enforce policies, which several of these Covidiots figured out. Most likely, your policies do have a general guideline of protecting the health and safety of your property, which may or may not directly include wearing a mask in public spaces. You may also have to adhere to local law that legally enforces masks and social distancing. For example, one California property had its power completely turned off by the mayor because of the inhabitants refusal to obey COVID-19 social distancing laws.

You can start with reminders, such as a poster in public spaces alerting people to policy about wearing masks. While your Covidiot tenants may complain, remind them that it is not only your right and the property owner’s right to have this safeguard, it is also your duty to other residents to safeguard their health.

It may be kind to give them a ‘3-strike’ warning if they continue to be belligerent about their masks, but keep in mind that you need to be careful. If a different resident gets COVID-19 and places reasonable doubt on your lack of strong mask policy, you want to show you did all you could to protect the living spaces you are in charge of.

It may be kind to give them a ‘3-strike’ warning if they continue to be belligerent about their masks, but keep in mind that you need to be careful. If a different resident gets COVID-19 and places reasonable doubt on your lack of strong mask policy, you want to show you did all you could to protect the living spaces you are in charge of.

Calling the police should be a last resort. Make sure to call a local lawyer to go over what steps you can take when it comes to residents refusing to wearing masks. With this lawyer, you can create a detailed plan ahead of time to help you sort out any hypothetical or literal Covidiot residents.

to stay informed!

Calling the police should be a last resort. Make sure to call a local lawyer to go over what steps you can take when it comes to residents refusing to wearing masks. With this lawyer, you can create a detailed plan ahead of time to help you sort out any hypothetical or literal Covidiot residents.

to stay informed!

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Nicole Seidner

Cole Seidner is a copywriter here at the CIC Blog. She holds a degree in Writing from Savannah College of Art and Design with a focus in creative nonfiction. Her free time is spent taking pictures of her dogs or reading deep dive analysis on movies that she hasn’t seen.

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