This is the longest year in living memory and we are barely halfway through it. I looked back at my first column of 2020 and thought to myself, “who is this optimist?” And really, it wasn’t so much optimistic as a call to optimism; a call for us to look beyond the face we see reflected back in the mirror. A call to be seekers of truth in these harrowing days of alternative facts, and let’s face it: outright lies.
But even with all we’ve been through as a nation these past several years, I think what has got me mentally pinned to the floor the last few weeks is the willful ignorance about science coupled with the refusal of so many to do something small to help others in their airspace/proximity.
Wear your mask. Just. Freaking. Wear it. Why not take this small step for a few weeks and see how we fare? In the last 14 days, I’ve had a healthy friend hospitalized with COVID-19, another friend who has multiple family members sick with it, and several other friends who have been exposed and are awaiting the dreaded test results. These folks are in our town and don’t include my friends around the country who are mourning loved ones who’ve died already.
School starts in less than a month. I am neither a panicky nor particularly fearful person, but it’s not lost on me that the likes of Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort (and many prisoners around the country) got released from prison due to coronavirus concerns, yet we are going to send our babies and beloved teachers back into crowded classrooms. And yes, I understand we have options. I, more than many, have every option available to me. I am confident our local school officials are doing their best and God bless them. But that doesn’t make it any less stressful or heartbreaking because there is just no win if things keep moving along the current trajectory.
I guess that’s why I’m simmering with rage and keep waking up at 3:37 am. The CDC and the Surgeon General both said this past week that if Americans would wear masks when in public, we could get this epidemic under control in 4-8 weeks.
Do I enjoy wearing a mask? No. But I also don’t enjoy wearing a bra. Yet I do so out of respect for all of you and have been every day since I was ELEVEN. I promise the mask won’t hurt you, and also, masks don’t have an underwire!
Fellow Okies from Muskogee, I implore you to remember that we live in community. When you mask-up in public, you are protecting others by keeping your spray to yourself. If we all do this one simple thing, then perhaps we can come out the other side of COVID less scathed.