I still think I might be done with the old blog, at least mostly. I have zero coherent thoughts at this time, certainly nothing I'm going to try to monetize, and as you'll soon find out I'm unlikely to stick with it for more than a few months at a time. But for now I wonder if it's time to start writing again, at least for a while. I look at the dates of my last posts and it's really only been 2 years, but holy smokes, that feels like several lifetimes ago.
You know what? I don't even want to talk about it. It's just life, man. The everyday changes that add up and pretty soon you're looking back 2 years going "Holy smokes, that feels like several lifetimes ago."
Here's what I want to say today: I think it's a good idea to wear a mask. I think, at least collectively, we've done a great job of flattening the COVID curve, and we've learned a lot over these several months, and put ourselves in the best position possible to move forward and minimize harm done by COVID as much as possible.
I also think the economy needs to open back up, and I think that people need to carefully consider sticking to the guidelines placed before them. No, you can't make me wear a mask, and I can't make you wear a mask. No, the masks don't completely prevent the virus spread. No, I don't think we can prevent every single death. Yes, I think the virus will have to run its course until we get to herd immunity.
If wearing masks like big goofs, and feeling my clammy breath ON MY FACE every time I'm in a public place, and unceremoniously ripping my mask off as soon as I reach open air keeps the economy open, and oh by the way the hospitals keep enough open beds to treat whoever needs it--I can do that. YES we all look RIDICULOUS. It's so silly I laugh at it every time. But I think I'd rather keep looking ridiculous and keeping a radius if I can also still go out to eat, and visit with my friends, and support local businesses (and yes, send half my pay directly to Amazon; that's how it works now).
Look, I'm almost as defiant as any red-blooded American; I just hide it better cuz I'm a peacemaker. In my case that means I'm really good at seeing all sides, and I think so often a situation boils down to how you frame it.
So I do understand the slippery slope of the government telling anyone what to do. Great, we put mask laws in place now, what else will we decide is necessary? How intrusive can the government get before we look up and go "we've taken every reasonable step; now we need to let nature run its course."
On the other hand, what if I can take this small step to be a helper? What if I can think just for a moment before I'm about to break one of the "rules"? What if I take into account the time & context, and the audience, and the risk levels and whatnot? What if I don't break thru every rule just for the sake of breaking them...but I take in the info and decide?
We have a group of friends we don't wear masks around. We decided we've all quarantined as REQUIRED, and are comfortable moving forward in each other's proximity. On the other hand, if I am catching the COVID from all my hobnobbing, then masking up in large groups and in public protects people outside my friend group, because even though I'm confident about them, strangers are understandably less so.
But the protest thing...can we please find a consistent tack? Like, is it groups of 10 or protests of 100? That can't be scientific.
My company has an actual corporate value centered around grace & respect. In this case it means we don't have COVID monitors patrolling the halls (for the few in the office) for those impertinent mask eschewers. We don't tattle on one another and we don't confront over non-mask wearing. We also don't go parading our bare faces around to prove we don't have to follow the rules. We wear a mask, and if we can't wear a mask, we get out of public places as soon as possible. We assume the best about one another and we trust others to do the same.
I'm not sure it's scalable for the general population...but I think it's a good rule of thumb.
In conclusion, please wear a mask so all your favorite places can open back up, AND all your favorite hospitals can keep plenty of capacity just in case you need to drop by and stay a while...