CONFUSED. CONFUSING. CONFUSION.
we don’t go into any store without a mask on. the way we understand this – is that this is essential. in an effort to curb the spread of this pandemic, protect others and do our part to ‘flatten the curve’ we need to follow simple protocol.
at the risk of redundancy, which i have been accused of before, we have been appalled at the lack of people wearing masks. it’s not like you are being asked to undergo a colonoscopy before entering the grocery store (or worse yet, the prep for one); it is a simple request: wear a mask. yet, there we are, in the store and we can feel the now-familiar tightness-in-our-chest-anxiety rising as we attempt to move away from people who seem to care little about distancing or breathing their aerosols our way. what-on-earth-is-so-hard-about-this??
david went to a small grocery the other day. he had his mask and he had brought disinfecting wipes with him. neither of these were burdensome to him. he walked into a somewhat crowded store and found that he was the only one wearing a mask. what?!
wwmrd? (what would mr. rogers do?): be a good neighbor. (i’m betting he’d wear a mask.)
we live in wisconsin so it would seem prudent to look up what the department of health services has to say about this:
When should I wear a cloth face cover?
- You should wear a cloth face cover when you are outside the home conducting essential activities such as going to work, to the grocery store, pharmacy, banking and enjoying outdoor activities while maintaining physical distancing.
Wearing a cloth face cover may be beneficial as it may help to protect others from germs you may be spreading without knowing it. (https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/protect.htm)
that seems relatively clear. embracing redundancy once again: “you should wear a cloth face cover when you are outside the home conducting essential activities such as going to work, to the grocery store, pharmacy, banking and enjoying outdoor activities while maintaining physical distancing.”
down the street the state of illinois is requiring face masks. ahhh, you say with a cavalier smirk unhidden by a face mask. that state has a democratic governor, you point out as you enumerate the many ways that the government is taking over your personal life by issuing coronavirus guidelines. i’m not a biologist or an epidemiologist but i suspect that this pandemic is not stopping to discern the difference between democrats and republicans. and a face mask, worn by you or the people you encounter in a day, just might protect you, your family members, your friends, your colleagues, the people-who-you-don’t-know-at-the-grocery-store-but-who-count-anyway.
so why are the vast majority of people not wearing masks? why are so many folks not social distancing? why are people announcing vacations on facebook? vacations? are we even encouraged to do that right now? (because who wouldn’t love to go merrily on a vacation for a while?) one sweet person, who lives in another state, replying to a text of mine that bemoaned missing my children asked me if we were on “house arrest”. everything is confusing.
one of the funniest, albeit a tad off-color, clarifications of the what-would-mr-rogers-do approach i read said: “having some states locked down and some states not locked down is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool.” no exponential brainpower needed there. i would think that swimming-pool-water-rule applies to most all the guidelines. seems pretty clear to me.
i guess i’m just saying i don’t understand. this is a global pandemic. despite a plethora of conspiracy theories distorting reality, there is medicine and there is science. i, for one, would rather place my trust in the people immersed in those than in self-aggrandizing politicians or propaganda-pushers, each ignoring medical science in their own creative ways. there is a difference. “america strong” reads the flag we pass on 7th avenue. strength and resilience are found in unity, not division, in working together, not apart, in being neighborly.
as the country begins to prematurely open up and disregard the CDC’s guidelines as “overly restrictive” we will likely download that multi-page guide. we would like to see more specifically how we can do our part . thinking they might actually protect us, we want to see the ‘overly restrictive’ restrictions. we want to participate in a responsible way. we will follow these guidelines as best we can. we will social distance. we will cough into our elbow. we will not gather. we will not pee in the pool.
and we will freaking wear masks, even if we are the only ones.