Sorry for the News
Time to Mask On
I know, I know, just when you thought it was safe, well, sorry it isn’t and no amount of heads in the sand, magical thinking, wishing and hoping, prayer or plain denial will change it; the Delta variant of COVID-19 is serious, it’s here, and when you go out to a public place you need to mask on, even if you’ve gotten the vaccinations.
Troubling news for sure but once again, the way to offer a strong measure of protection is simply to put the damn mask on, it’s not like asking people to wear body armor, move to a hermetically sealed cage or to get Dobermans and plant land mines in their front yards. It’s just a mask and you just take it off when you get home. I don’t want to put it on because being finally freed from the mask was the symbolic and very real way of showing that the pandemic was in the rear view mirror, but sorry to say, we have to adjust our mirrors. Wearing a mask is a pain in the butt, it makes it difficult to talk to people and to see facial mannerisms, like when someone is smiling or is ready to clock you in the head. Safe to say that when masks were de rigeur, I wore them at ShopRite and Bottle King and I was never clocked, although I will never know how many times the cashier was sneering at me and not smiling or vice versa.
I understand the anger of restaurant owners who saw how their business fell through the floor when masks were required and how they jumped through all kinds of hoops to attract diners to outside areas where they could remove their masks while sipping their glass of cabernet. I understand parents who cannot stomach the thought of having their children home again and glued in front of the computer screen for less than successful, Zoom lessons and I feel the pain of teachers who just want to get back to normal and the angst of children who want to see the faces of their buds.
To make it clear, the latest research shows that a person who has been vaccinated can be infected by the Delta variant and it can be very serious. The infected can spread the virus to others whether they have been vaccinated or not. And here’s the scary part, young people, under 12 years old, who have not been provided the vaccine, can get the Delta variant, show no symptoms and then spread it to their unsuspecting, elderly grandparents or others who are at high risk of infection or even death.
Employers have to step up to the plate and require their workers to get the masks on, that would be all employees, even the employees who have gotten both vaccinations. It’s not enough for an employer to leave the masks optional or to hold off on mandatory masks until further studies. The further studies are here and they show clearly that the Delta variant can spread to people vaccinated or not and that infected people can spread it to people, vaccinated or not. To leave masks as optional at work is no answer because one, workers don’t want to appear like they are disobeying a boss; two, peer pressure makes if very hard for a worker to put on the mask while none of his colleagues are doing likewise; and three, there are so many people who still think that COVID-19 is an exaggeration, that the Delta variant is nothing worse than a cold and that the pedophile Democrats are using the pandemic as a way to control the American public and to be anything but totally clear about requiring masks will only feed into the conspiracy theories and those who profit by lying about the virus.
Remember when the COVID-19 virus was just starting to take hold and people didn’t wear masks because they thought they wouldn’t get sick or they believed our beloved ex-president who said the virus would magically disappear very soon. And then hundreds of thousands of people died. Remember, not long ago, when you would see people wearing masks below their nose or just hanging from their ear and how you’d complain at the ShopRite about someone who wasn’t wearing a mask, and the employee would look at you like you had 15 heads and you could see the bubble above her head which said, “So what can I do? You go tell him,” and she pointed to the guy who was six-foot-five, weighed 250 pounds, had tattoos on his tattoos and looked like he enjoyed beating people up for sport.
You cannot leave it voluntary because too many people have misinformation or just don’t understand the latest serious findings about the Delta variant or just don’t give a hoot. I spoke with one cashier at a store and asked him if he was worried about the Delta variant and he also looked at me like I had 15 heads and I could just as well have asked him to explain Einstein’s theory of relativity. You can’t leave it up to the clerks and the uninformed or misinformed or we will be right back to those dark, ugly, deadly days of just a few months ago.
As reported by the Washington Post, an internal document from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that the delta variant “appears to cause more severe illness than earlier variants and spreads as easily as chickenpox.”
“The document strikes an urgent note, revealing the agency knows it must revamp its public messaging to emphasize vaccination as the best defense against a variant so contagious that it acts almost like a different novel virus, leaping from target to target more swiftly than Ebola or the common cold,” the Post reported.
The CDC reports “that there is a higher risk among older age groups for hospitalization and death relative to younger people, regardless of vaccination status. Another estimates that there are 35,000 symptomatic infections per week among 162 million vaccinated Americans.”
I am sufficiently frightened and will wear my mask and hope you will too. Are you going to believe the CDC or that guy with tattoos on his tattoos? Your move.