Thoughts behind the Mask.
It has been five weeks now. The first two were easy- I was too sick to care. Just hours from hospitalization, I made a small turn, then another. Once I came out of the mysterious illness, reality set in.
This is no vacation. We are busy with school work and doing the multitude of chores that need to be done. The weather turned to bright spring-like days, and my mood changed to a frigid, frozen winter blanket.
My thoughts became still, and not in a good be still and know He is God kind of way. No. This still was more of a shut out people, and the world, and run. A decent visual would be the Grinch.
Being an upbeat, encourager (especially in rare unforeseen circumstances), I surprised myself. I’ve never been labeled a Debbie Downer, but I deserved the depressing title now. This isolation turned my mind upside down and left a bitter taste in my mouth.
Don’t get me wrong. I comprehend the unknown factor in this fear-filled balloon, but the reaction and response makes no sense.
Take, for instance, my local grocery store. We are asked to wear masks for preventative measures, mostly to discourage our own hands from meddling near our faces. While walking like a masked invader through the narrow aisles, I smile a hello greeting at each passerby. However, they have no idea of my attempt at being friendly. I feel like an idiot.
This week, magical arrows appeared on the floor, indicating the new direction and flow of traffic. Like myself, half the patrons never notice, and look like ordinary shoppers going up and down each row.
Then, on the last aisle, I catch on to the new traffic law, and as I walk down the ice cream aisle, suddenly an unmasked, wailing cough from the gentleman next to me escapes. Was I supposed to pass on the left? Maybe this has become a one way, one shopper aisle? I look around awaiting someone to reprimand the big guy, but it’s only me, now exposed to his 13 foot of spray. (cough into your elbow people)
Next, I quickly and quietly head to the nearest checkout. The lady in front of me has placed her salmon on the edge of the belt. It is too far across the line and stays out on the metal piece as she begins to pay. The cashier glances down the empty belt, wondering why I’ve not started to unload. She eyes the scrumptious salmon stuck behind and asks if its mine.
“No. But in today’s world, I’m afraid to touch it for fear of community retaliation. My neighbors have taken to the neighborhood Facebook page to shame any non-conforming soul out there. I chose to respect her salmon boundary, and it was a Dennis the Menace moment! I wanted to touch, but George was in my head with a stern look.
Do you think every person handling that package wore gloves? Do you believe they changed said gloves between every lift and carry? Our doubts ring in unison.
As I approached the credit card machine, I find some new decor. Plastic sticky wrap now lies all over those contaminated buttons. I waited, anticipating the plastic to be removed and replaced between customers.
In dentistry, you replace protective barriers between patients. I suppose that doesn’t apply to the virus of our lifetime. Nope, it was parked for the duration of the day, maybe the full outbreak for all I know. The cashier saw my confused look and offered advice that the chip reader is exposed, and the plastic is for sanitary purposes. I couldn’t help myself, “Well, that would only work if you changed it with clean gloves between every swipe and key entry.
She didn’t appreciate my advice back.
Not a Sheep or a Lion.
You can convince me a new virus was unleashed by way of bat DNA, RNA, and other complicated scientific jargon. A lethal virus to many, but timid to most. It is an undeniable truth. You will convince me the elderly and immune-compromised must take level-10 precautions. Some hospitals have seen a spike in patients directly related to this monster, while others sit in the same condition they were on January 1, 2020.
You will not convince me placing a permanent barrier on a credit card machine will do anything. We may as well push those keys. Or, one-way grocery shopping traffic serves a purpose. I just walked through the waterfall of a million germs. And the gloves, well that issue doesn’t deserve attention.
I’m convinced the apologetic America of 5 years ago, is lingering amid society. We have a government running helter-skelter with ‘orders,’ arrests, warnings, and complete uproar among the masses.
I thought the toilet paper craze was near insanity. Today’s unrest tops it all.
“We’re not afraid.” Shout my American nation behind masks that do no good, gloves that contaminate, and shields of wonder.
This will swirl our globe for a while, I believe. My question is, will the fear, too? I can handle fear, but perhaps common sense could return to the living? Just a thought.