Adding My Two Cents
To Mask or Not Mask August 31
It’s is time to add my two cents into this debate on whether we should wear masks or not…
We are peaking, however this is not the Olympics where the higher the number the better. No, this is the Delta Variance that is killing people faster than the first wave of COVID. Beds in the Intensive Care Unit are full, no more place to put the sick. What is the most alarming is that young people, who were virtually untouched by the last go-around are being infected in record numbers. So, to mask or not to mask that is the question and my answer is, wear the darn mask people.
As an older person who will turn 65 on his next birthday in two weeks, I have very strong feelings about this matter. I am vaccinated and have not hesitated wearing a mask when I go out in public. I do not feel this mask hinders my freedom at all as I wear it to protect the people I come in contact with. Washing my hands does not instill me with a feeling that I live in a police state. Staying at home is not a prison sentence. Getting the vaccine did not make me a zombie or turn me into a brainless robot. What happened to our sense of reason? Can’t we see the emergency that is going on right at this moment? Governor DeSantis and Abbott have turned the states of Florida and Texas into Delta Variance central. Anyone needing to go to the ICU are being medevaced out and soon there will be no beds left in the country. Hospitals were not designed for the medical dilemma that is taking place and yet there are deniers who feel that this is all a government conspiracy. It is not a government conspiracy. Our history records many of them, but this will not be one of them.
One reason I am stating this is not a conspiracy is that Pfister, Johnson & Johnson and Madeiran all have proven effective in the original Pandemic and there was a feeling of protection against the Delta Variance, but that is proving to be false. We do not have the data, because this is all new, but the data is starting to show. Unfortunately for many, the data will arrive too late to save them from getting this new strand. It is remarkable to me that in less than a year, a vaccine was produced in the first place that could stop the original virus. All of the remedies that people came up with before the vaccine was ridiculous and it was fear that made us turn to these methods. It is time to trust science, because the people involved in getting the vaccine into our arms are dedicated professionals who also have families they are concerned about. It’s time to quit thinking that all of these companies are out to get us and roll up our sleeves and get the shot-twice if necessary. Some are even going for a third time, but we do not have any data to suggest that this will be effective against the Delta Variance.
Wear a mask, please. I saw a posting on Facebook saying, “I wear my bra for your protection, just like I wear my mask.” In this post it stated the real reason to wear a mask is for the courtesy and protection of other people. Again this is not a government restriction of your rights, rather a way to show others in the community you are taking their interests into consideration. In two weeks, I will be back in the classroom. I want to make sure that I stay as safe as possible, so I will wear a double mask and keep social distance from my students of six feet. This is not what I want, but it protects them from becoming infected as well as me. I am seeing more and more public gatherings where people are not wearing masks and all I can think about is the “super spreader.” Last year there was the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally where thousands of Harley riders gathered in South Dakota. The media claimed this was a super-spreader event since none of the riders were masked and nobody appeared to social distance. Now we are hearing that the number of COVID cases were not as high as first reported as we get ready for the annual event where it is feared even more riders will attend. I know the media has become the latest scapegoat for “Fake News, but let’s for a moment consider that there is some truth in their cautiousness. It is time to consider “can you afford to be taken to the ICU and put on a ventilator?” If not, you use precautions.
Before the Pandemic, there was an episode of Young Sheldon where this germ-a-phob questions the doctor he is seeing, “What prevents you from getting sick?” The doctor responds that he takes precautions, “Wash my hands and wear a mask.” The epidemic was the Spanish Influenza of 1918 when American soldiers were coming home from war in Europe bringing home this flu that would cost millions of people their lives. Viruses have an interesting life cycle as the smallest living thing on this planet where they are made up of nothing but a single strand of RNA that attaches to a cell’s DNA during mitosis. In doing so, the RNA replicates into a living “key” that can mutate into something new as it has done for the Pandemic. We had no warning until people started getting sick. In order to protect ourselves, we were told to wear masks, wash your hands and keep a social distance from others. Before the vaccine, this worked for the most part even though the streets of some cities filled with wildlife that roamed the empty streets unabated.
What I find infuriating and the reason I am writing this essay, is Governor DeSantis has issued a warning to school districts that if they have mandatory rules to mask the students, he will see that their paychecks are withheld. This is true ignorance at its best where I feel best judgement is not at play in this state since the courts have upheld his decision while Florida has become Delta Variance central in this country. As a teacher, I would have problems if my students come to my classroom without a mask. I had surgery in July which suppressed my immune system as if my diabetes and heart disease was not enough. I am and have been at high risk since the onset of this Pandemic. My fear is that Governor Abbott will follow DeSantis' horrible decision and then I may be trapped by those who feel that this is the right path to follow. We are already getting some push-back from people who feel their rights are being violated in having to wear masks. One thing to remember when we enter a debate about rights is; we have rights, but we also have to take on the consequences that come with that freedom. We have rights as long as it does not impede the rights of others. In not wearing a mask you are telling me you do not give a damn about my well-being. And that really hurts my feelings
In the final analysis, we must learn to work together to solve problems that come our way. I am tired of the Great Divide that exists in our society today. We need to live up to the unity that made us victorious against the greatest army of the time. We need to stand together as we did during the last world war to defeat those who would endanger our freedoms. In remaining separate, we could find ourselves facing more dire consequences than we did in the Civil War when more Americans died than in any other war (trivia fact). In getting a vaccine and wearing a mask, will prove that we stand together in our struggle to survive this Pandemic and if nothing else that you do give a damn about other people.