Every Breath You Take and Every Move You Make

How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath to say to me that thou art out of breath?
~ William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Remember when CO2 was bad for us. Well, not anymore, fellow New Normalites. In today’s bizarro world of inverted logic, CO2 is now our friend.

Breathe deep and save the Democratic Party … er, I mean your fellow bipedal primates.

There has been much talk and social media buzz about the effects of wearing a mask and breathing in your expelled carbon dioxide, especially when exercising.

On June 17, Gretchen Reynolds wrote in The New York Times, “Wearing a mask during exercise reduces the risk that we will infect someone else with the novel coronavirus if we unwittingly carry the disease. But wearing a mask also affects how the exercise affects us, according to exercise scientists who have begun to look into the effects of covering your face while working out.” Reynolds went on to reference an article from the British Journal of Sports Medicine that read, “… covering your face during exercise comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort and requires balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.”

Adverse events? Like passing out from too much CO2 in your bloodstream?

Holy anachronism, Batman! That’s so yesterday.

Today, in the miraculous times of COVID-19, carbon dioxide poisoning was just a simple misunderstanding, a mere confusion of principles — with the governing principle in this incarnation of truth, how much CO2 does it take to remake America?

A lot, apparently.

If you’ve seen those graphic illustrations of someone breathing sans mask, you see a billowing cloud composed of insidious droplets of opportunity spread forth belligerently and engulfing anything within a light-year or so. Next, you see someone breathing while wearing a mask, and presto! No exhalation of fear and loathing. You see a wee bit of the cloud leaking out the sides of the mask, but the majority of the stuff of last hope is nowhere to be seen. Gone with the wind … or not, as it were.

That no-longer persona non grata of biodegradable waste does not just disappear, as our handlers lead us to believe because they think we’re as dumb as cornstarch. Oh no, it can only go to one place: back down our lungs and into the bloodstream, where it goes to work debilitating our systems, making us drowsy and disoriented until we eventually pass out (much like weed and liquor, but a lot cheaper).

Good news, though: Under the directive of newspeak, multiple sources have confirmed that CO2 is no longer a problem. A CDC representative said, “You might get a headache, but you most likely [would] not suffer the symptoms observed at much higher levels of CO2.”

What do you take for a haddock?

The experts argue that surgeons wear masks all day long without negative effects, but surgical masks are designed for proper breathing and effective exhalation without carbon dioxide building up. On the other hand, the masks most people wear are not nearly as well engineered and are about as effective as a screen door in a submarine, which negates too much CO2 buildup and further illustrates that no joke is too old for me to misappropriate.

It is rumored that the World Health Organization recommends putting a small houseplant inside your mask to absorb the carbon dioxide and produce more oxygen, perhaps a nice philodendron — they’re relatively clean and easy to care for. It may be a little crowded, but what’s a little crowded when you’re trying to eradicate a culture?

And speaking of crowded, the old rule of the gym was that if there are only two people in the locker room, their lockers will be next to each other. The new rule of the gym is that if there are only a few people in the gym (the new normal), they all will be working on the same equipment. However, I don’t get stressed waiting for them to finish as I stand there trying to show a look of distain through my mask; I just wait for them to keep breathing heavily and pass out, then I push them off the machine.

With my foot, of course, because I’m COVID-conscious.


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