I’m quite sure by now, particularly if you’ve been paying attention to what I say, you’ve heard more than you ever desired to surrounding COVID-19. I’m equally certain you’ve likely read enough about mask wear, here and elsewhere, to do you for a lifetime.
Fortunately, as multiple people have indicated, COVID-19 is likely a “once in a lifetime” happening. You may hear more about mask wear at some future point in your time on the planet, but if you do, it won’t likely be from people like me, arguing against the current strictures making their presence required when you visit supposed public venues.
As anyone paying me very much attention (read here, “nobody”) knows, I have a habit of trying to embrace facts when I write what I do. Given the opportunity, I generally favor citing statistics; which I try my hardest to do as fairly and reasonably as possible.
For COVID-19, the main source of my statistical information, has been the U. S. Centers for Disease Control or CDC website (found here). On their site, one can encounter a passel of the most accurate information about the virus they can present.
For the most part, they’re mildly behind the curve as a result of wishing veracity in what they put out there. Sometimes too, data on their site will change, because more information is being gathered as time goes on.
Today though, I wanted to talk about something more on the anecdotal side of things.
I like to get out of the house now and then. Sitting at home for extended periods of time as I’ve been doing, in order to keep from having folks scream at me for malfeasance, can be tiring, and can result in what’s known as stir craziness.
Since that’s true, it should be no surprise that I stepped away from the house while my son was still snoozing this morning and walked a path I had long since set for myself to get a prescribed minimum amount of exercise.
As I was going around my little track (which consists of four streets in my neighborhood—essentially a block)—I noticed an employee of the local school making her way across one of the streets. I live just down the road from that elementary school and I believe the house she was going to relax in front of, is unoccupied at present.
In short order, two other members of the school workforce, followed her across the road. They sat close to one another, certainly not six feet apart. The three were ladies, but I don’t suppose that matters for anything more than accuracy in description.
As I was walking by, three facts buried themselves in my brain and, which at once made me chuckle under my breath.
The first is that all three individuals had the masks pulled down in such a way that they covered neither their noses nor their mouths. The portion of each of their faces that was covered, was their chin.
As they talked, they laughed and exclaimed mildly, as people do. The result was, there can be no doubt the outsides of their masks would be horribly contaminated by the conversation they were enjoying.
People don’t think about it, but it’s a quite common thing to touch one’s face. Since they had masks on their faces—though again, covering neither nose nor mouth—that meant they also inadvertently, in the period of less than five minutes in which I observed them, touched them (the masks)multiple times as well.
It was obvious great care hadn’t been used when removing the obstruction to proper breathing and smoking of cigarettes, where it occurred. That meant some of the internals of the protection were visible to my eyes. Since there were parts of those masks that were intended to be inside of the covering that were exposed, when they touched them, they almost without a doubt, got contents of the inside of masks, onto the outside of them also.
When we breathe, there’s invariably moisture in our breath. That means whatever had been transferred to the outer surface of these temporary prophylactics, was now available to be touched and breathed on others. And the moisture from when they exhaled, did nothing but help to keep what was deposited there, alive.
Lest you decide this is the only time I’ve seen this type of behavior, you need to know that almost everywhere I’ve been of late, I’ve seen similar activity. This is particularly true when I go to the grocery store.
Bad enough that some children are almost certainly going to play with their mask, but seeing adults and particularly workers in such places, improperly wearing masks (not covering their noses, having them on their chins at times), makes it clear they’re generally ineffective.
I want it understood, where the ladies from the school are concerned, I bear them no ill will. Further, with as much research as I’ve done to this point—just enough to be dangerous—I don’t believe their actions will remotely bea problem. I also want to make it clear that the local school district has declared Wednesday (the day when this happened) an “off” day for in-school activities.
By the way, I don’t hold it against people in any retail space, that they fail to properly wear facial coverings. In fact, not only do I not blame patrons, I don’t blame staff either.
I won’t bore you by showing yet again the numbers for COVID-19 to this point as they can be readily found at the CDC website. What I will do though, is make it crystal clear that they don’t warrant the current response in any case.
Truth is, even if the numbers were far worse though, I’m pretty sure wearing face masks and sheltering in place would be bad ideas. As to social distancing, part of the reason I don’t tend to want to be close to others most of the time, is exactly that I have no desire to either spread disease to them or to get it from them. It’s not really a great protective activity, but it may help a little.
You need to understand, if you honestly believe that face coverings are a great solution for keeping various kinds of infections from spreading, I strongly urge you to look at how those around you are acting when they wear them. Maybe you’ll experience greater care than I’ve been prone to see. I doubt it.
Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.