Did we open too soon?
Note to all reading this, I don't believe the latter.
And the little bit of cloth I'm talking about isn't said knickers.
We're talking the mask.
I've seen conflicting reports. Some say the masks have no affect at all on stopping the spread of the virus. These seem to usually be from a blood in eyes housewife standing in her kitchen smoking a cigarette blathering on her cellphone in speaker mode to an equally loud and blathering person on the other end. Or by a Russian bot who put a meme together saying something to the effect of "It's Biden's weakness that caused the 'kayrona'." Or some dude named Joe typing away with too fat of fingers for the little keyboard on his phone saying Jesus wouldn't wear a mask (yes this is a thing going around.)
Some others can't get their numbers straight. They say if a person with COVID-19 is wearing a mask, the chances of them spreading it drops from 70 percent down to 5 percent. Others say the cloth masks don't prevent it from dropping that much, more like from 70 percent down to 30 percent. Nearly all reports, at least those not from the above list of "experts" spouting off from cellphones and social media platforms, say the chances of getting an airborne contagion such as COVID-19 if everyone is wearing masks drops dramatically to under 2 percent.
Claiming silly little things like science or the physics of trajectory and how little droplets of breath can travel several feet and be breathed in again as evidence.
Bunched up knickers!
All of this I see playing out like a Shakespeare tragedy. "To open or not to open, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the store to suffer the masks of outrageous fortune, or to take them off against a sea of troubles and by opposing screw them... To die, to have a cold like thing for a few days..."
During a global pandemic it became obvious something needed to be done to protect a taxed healthcare system while trying to stay ahead of the virus's deadly toll.
It's the God almighty greenback that seems to have slowed the progress toward a healthier world. The capitalist utopia shattered as humans try to care for humans
Economists, not doctors are determining what number of people dying is acceptable as we reopen for business.
"We need to open, my 401(k) tanked just like mom and dad's did," said no millionaire ever as he buys up those stocks you just lost.
Did we open too soon?
This will be debated all the way up until November and likely beyond. The numbers in Florida, Texas, Arizona and other states seem to suggest that those numb-twixt-the-ears governors did, in fact, open too soon. Their new case counts are breaking daily records that a few months back scared the living bejesus out of us.
Political pressure from state legislators and the president has perhaps caused states like Pennsylvania to begin opening a couple weeks too early as well. Again, evidenced in the rise of numbers recently. Pennsylvania seemed to stave off a horrific situation, yet it ain't over.
So did we open a little too soon?
I don't have the answer. I am a passive victim of this pandemic myself. I was laid off from my job as a newspaper photographer near the end of March. I say passive because I was lucky. I have been able to collect unemployment. I know some folks have not been this fortunate.
I was adamant at work that we take this virus seriously and precautions be put into place. When I was furloughed, I had already made my own personal kit and car supplies to keep my hands washed and provided myself with enough bleach wipes to be one of those nervous OCD types walking around wiping everything down.
Sadly I've grown complacent and there are times I find myself forgetting this simple action.
Let me repeat that - I have become complacent. I think we all have and it might be causing a problem. The numbers rising in this area perhaps suggest this is true.
I live in a very good place. My county of residence has only a little over 60 cases, of which only a third to half are likely active. The county I spend a lot of work time has less than half that, but the numbers are still rising. Yes, I want to get back to work. Yes, I want local businesses to boom and buy ads so I can get back to work and finally get a raise after many years of stagnant wages. But I also want people to be healthy, not infect me and not die.
This virus has not gone away.
Now back to that little piece of cloth and the reason people won't wear it.
Some argue a mask doesn't work... well science isn't with you on that. Some say it takes away your freedom... well you giving me a virus could take away my existence so... (I'll refrain from expletives here). Some say the masks cause far worse long-term problems because of breathing in the carbon or other things we just exhaled that are still in our mask. Search engine after search engine lists debunking site after debunking site on this.
I'll admit I cannot speak for each person's level of comfort mentally or even physically on this matter, we are each our own little packages of unique weirdness so...
Some say it is hot and they have breathing issues. OK, it is hot. I agree, and I feel for folks in heat occupations. As for people with a medical condition, let me just say this - please, please, please don't go out and risk being exposed to this virus. You are the ones who need our protection the most.
Some say anxiety is a reason. I'm pretty understanding of anxiety and I can't begin to quantify anyone's level of anxiety. I'm sure breathing techniques and mind calming strategies can be learned, but perhaps this is where we can help each other about a bit. When this all started several people volunteered to help those vulnerable.
It's what humans do.
We help each other along the road on this big spinning ball. Perhaps we can help unbunch each other's knickers and get over this godawful virus without hating each other any further. We still argue with each other over Donald Trump, but let's at least direct our anger appropriately together at this virus and get past it as quickly as we can.