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  1. Last Sunday, our local newspaper published this LTE from me:

    “I have noticed since the re-opening phase started in Joplin that very few customers in the grocery stores are now wearing masks, even though the workers do. (Thank you, workers!) As surely everyone knows by now, masks are primarily for protecting others from oneself in case we might be infectious but still in the 6-day period before symptoms appear. I can’t help but feel that not wearing a mask reflects an attitude of caring little about others. I probably feel this more acutely because my wife and I are in the most vulnerable age group, those over the age of 80.

    According to data from the CA Dept. of Public Health, people over 80 account for just 4% of the population but 46% of the deaths from COVID-19! If you want to respect your elders, wear a mask in crowded public places.”

    • At 77, I’m right up there with you. Those who don’t wear masks don’t care about others, or, if I were to give them the benefit of the doubt, they are ignorant and simply don’t understand that masks are to protect others, not the wearer.

      • johnthecook I do wear a mask when I enter all places of business because I want to AND it does help others feel safe….on the other hand If face masks works why practice social distancing. If social distancing works,why wear a face mask? I will NOT get a COVID-19 test because I am not worried. If…you are worried I suggest you go get tested today,and tomorrow,and tomorrow,and tommrow.and tomorrow because eventually you just may get it. Personally I am not going to let fear run my life. Oh by the way I am 70yrs old.

        • Masks plus social distancing is simply double the protection since we know neither method is foolproof. I’m not worried about getting COVID-19 as long as I stay home, or outside well away from anyone else. And except for trips to a drive-by pharmacy or up to the mailbox, that’s what I’ve been doing. I see no reason to get tested unless I have reason to think I’ve been exposed … but even then I’m not sure what purpose it serves unless I’m actually sick and need to confirm that I have it. At that point I’ll probably be at the hospital, not sitting in line at a testing site.

          I may be a bit more gunshy about all this stuff because for several months during my during and after my cancer treatment I had a horrible cough. I don’t want to repeat that with lungs that may not be quite as strong now as they were then.

  2. Not sure how masks are being managed by the communities there.
    Looking around here apparently many (especially aged between 21-39 yrs here either think they are bullet proof or that the virus is over. Those are the ones coming down with it now. Of course no one wants to talk about thousands of people without masks in large groups – here the HS kids are having grad. celebrations and parties – lots of block parties for all the families, and the bars jammed – jammed with people – maybe 3 wearing masks. The Governor has undercover people going around – if bar is not compliant, their licenses are suspended. Of course now with the summer’s heat, the AC is on high in most buildings. Carry your sweater and your mask. (Cold and indoors, great for virus growing and spreading.)
    Here mask requirements vary by county. There’s a lot of open spaces still so one size doesn’t fit all, but the Big City’s county and Galveston city has mandated their buildings/restaurants/shops/anything indoors post signs like “No shoes. No shirt. No mask, no service”
    Works for me. People who don’t like it can trot off elsewhere.
    And be nice about it. (Did you see the video of the massless woman leaving a restaurant go right up to a baby in a stroller on the way out and intentionally cough on the child. Seriously? What is wrong with people? No doubt the enforced lockdown has created delusions and anger in so many people….who probably weren’t too nice/stable to start with?)

    • The latest move here seems to be closing streets to give that space to restaurants for outdoor tables. But then, our climate is a bit drier than yours, so outdoors is more tolerable. The county regulations vary a bit, but not much. Most everyone is on board with the governor and whatever he says. I appreciate that he acted early and decisively. I wonder how different things might be if we’d had a president who acted early and decisively and put in place national safeguards so that the whole country would be on the same page.

      Yes, it’s the younger people who seem to think they are invincible, but that’s always the case, isn’t it? I can’t really speak from experience because I rarely go out. At most, maybe half a dozen times since the first of March. And none of that involved going inside anyplace.

      Everyone is asked to mask up indoors and most businesses have posted signs to that effect. However, trying to enforce that rule with someone who isn’t complying is definitely a risky business.

      • Yeah, the patio extensions into the parallel parking/one lane of traffic sacrificed actually is a nice trend. Normally being inside frigid AC bubble, some people are discovering it’s not so bad outside – maybe with fans and shade. Would me a nice trend to continue. Some restaurants are voluntarily closing inside dining and returning to take out. Not a bad idea. Local ideas are best when there’s a wide range of population density..not to mention summer travelers. I understand someone is leaving “Go home” notes on out of state licensed cars in Estes Park. Bouder has made it more difficult/parking meters near popular hiking/Flat Irons for those not from there – closer free parking for residents ( Galveston sort of does the same thing)
        The trouble with waiting for the Fed. Government to do anything is that with checks and balances everyone has to be on board: congress, the President and the courts. Woulda, coulda, shoulda listened and banned incoming flights? Spent the money given to states after 911 designed to build up emergency medical/protective gear/mask instead of other things(and using their own emergency stockpiles before screaming they need more….and not state income taxing workers who run in to assist during a crisis. Seriously? They risk their lives and now have to pay???)…people being told the truth, Dr Fauci who finally admitted this week…
        Like you say, everyone has to be onboard and pull together in one direction.
        Easier to do locally/by state. Faster and one size doesn’t fit all – like most things.
        (Now they are talking about herd immunity – faster to achieve than previously thought…lower % of infections( 43% maybe) to achieve group immunity than previously thought (breaking research), immunity faster than vaccine (which may or may not work or last). I know it’s a new virus, but like mask or not mask repeatedly reversed then mandated ( 3 layers of cloth for handmade…a bandana…anything, just kept up on your face and don’t touch, dunderheads)
        I think people have just had enough and stopped paying attention, no wonder; but it may prove deadly.
        Like raising kids – say it once and mean it
        Oh, well. Our ICUs are filling up – but what they are not/quickly saying is almost 80% are not COVID patients. Elective surgeries and procedures that were put off here now happening. Actual hospitals are saying they are at normal capacity – like before virus, but if there’s a massive surge.
        Close the bars, malls – food courts!, entertainment venues (House of Blues is serving and having live shows again), indoor dining, maybe indoor gyms, limit shops to 1-2 customers at a time, maybe and see if that helps?
        Tired of the hysteria and media driven panic here. People have had enough and not paying attention

        • I think Denver has closed off one or two downtown blocks completely to allow for large outdoor dining areas. (I dunno. I never go down there.) Colo. locked down pretty early and has been reopening cautiously, so we’re in relatively good shape (knock wood) at the moment.

          You’re right about people being tired. Tired of the whole COVID thing, the circus in Washington, the demonstrations everywhere. It’s exhausting and depressing as hell. Especially when it looks like there will be no real relief before the end of the year, if then.

        • Man the state border! Watch out for the tourists! (like those Australians who brought the virus to Ski country in mid Dec….and refused to leave or self isolate….authorities were hand wringers…don’t want to make the tourists with money mad. A nurse relative got sick from them.) It’s summer They’re coming!!!
          In a recreation/resort area, we have the same problem. At least here with the summer’s heat, we’d be staying home and inside most of the time anyway. (of course cold AC in closed buildings is just what viruses love)
          Seems like we just can’t win?

        • There’s no avoiding it here. Colorado is a year-round tourist destination. There’s always something bringing in visitors. And even if the out-of-staters can’t get here, the locals flood the parks and mountains. It’s an outdoor recreation state.

        • Good news. Bad news.
          At least here once football season starts, usually people are busy. And few really are interested in the waterway/marinas/beach in late fall or winter. Whew.
          We dodge the rabid bicycle clubs year round though…it’s flat. They can go fast… and skip traffic signals….

        • The hospitals are absolutely livid about the media hyping what they do not understand or desire to panic people. Yes, the ICUs are close to 100% but as multiple hospitals CEOs and doctors are coming on saying – less than 20% are COVID patients. They say (and we know from docs in family/friends) that during summer at this time of year the hospital ERs and ICUs are always at this level and directed drive-bye are normal. On top of the normal accidents, heart attacks, cancer patients, terminal illness seen each summer are a huge number of producers now being done because lock down mandates stopped “elective” “non-life threatening” surgeries, there are now many people in hospital from backlog – and they found people were afraid to go to get medical care so now they are in worse shape.
          The media asked early in the week for a status update and the major hospital systems /med center hospitals through their coordinated PR office gave them a “we have a lot of people in the ICU and yes, it would help if people would be careful and wear masks and try to stay healthy”. The statement was blown all out of reality and hyped. Now people are hysterical and not wanting to go to hospital for scheduled procedures. Med Center is trying to do damage control and explain none of the hospitals are anywhere near capacity for treating COVID. They have room, personnel, and supplies and a regional surge plan( if needed.). Deaths from the virus are still very low here. The new cases are in 17-50 years age bracket and most are mild and easily treated at home.
          It’s totally nuts.
          The Governor isn’t reversing openings, but putting it on pause which makes sense and is exactly what he said he’d do if there were hot spots and flareups.
          Only Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Ft. worth are really being told to cool it.
          The bars are a major problem – and some are being closed for violations. Even those who are cooperating, seriously, people must have masks to come in, then the sit down, putt masks down to drink and talk – usually in groups of friends – it’s stupid. Mask only at the entrance for customers.
          Most counties are back to mask mandates – which is fine..if one county mandates and the others don’t, people here, like there, drive a few miles to eat drink and be merry. One reason we kept wearing masks and staying close even though things were opening. Too many people for us to be comfortable.
          Sigh. Summer travel plans gone again. Kid and family in cabin at Estes -and managed to get RM entry time slot – but they are shocked by how crowded it is – and not a mask to be seen in town or elsewhere. Of course we always avoided Estes mid summer due to normal crowd. Now it’s a bit scary.
          Appreciate the checking in. We’re facing worst Saharan dust in 20 years. Darn if not one thing it’s another. Dog is so bored she’s grabbing wet towels and running around the house with them flipping them isn the air.
          Thanks. Have a great weekend!

        • The media never miss a chance to hype a story. It’s certainly not helpful when talking about a pandemic.

          Take care, stay healthy, and have a great weekend.

  3. We started Monday with required mask wearing in public buildings in Harris County (Greater Houston area). Any facility that doesn’t enforce can be fined. Tricky for little kids, but if they distance and can wear a mask, great. Otherwise anyone 10 years old and up must wear one. We have signs on the doors before people enter for services, and signs on the reception window that if all the chairs in the lobby (only 3 now) are full up, they need to sign in and wait outside or leave their phone number so they can hang in the car in the meantime and we’ll call when it’s their turn. Half the time people just stand there against the wall, too damn close to the door and become an impediment because they don’t want to leave or listen unless my boss comes out and says politely yet firmly. Others have been told they must put the mask up on their face and they grumble (some don’t speak English well so we have to mime the action).

    Probably 1/4 of the folks complain about it, but I’m having to physically touch them all and they know it, so they keep it to grumbling around me (hee hee). I’m glad I got extra hand sanitizer just in case for my disposable vinyl gloves. One person was asking (looking skeptical) if I changed gloves between each client. I said no, that I sanitize in between, before and after touching them and their credit cards and whatnot, and sometimes more if I feel I might’ve forgotten to do it. I had to double-shift yesterday to cover a sick co-worker. I would’ve run through two boxes of gloves (and gotten triple the complaints) if I took the time to change out gloves with every person. I have short fat fingers and this last brand of gloves I managed to get from Amazon are quite snug. Takes nearly two minutes to fit them on my hands, but I bought them and just need to use them up. I do change them out every hour or two, depending how many people are waiting and if I can get up and take them off and wash properly with soap and water, dry them nice, and then put another pair on.

    That’s the best I can do right now. I’m more annoyed (with another co-worker) that while they expanded operating hours because people need background check services for their jobs–which I was totally okay with–they double-booked every other time slot to cram more people in because they were complaining about wait times a month out at other locations. People have lost all patience and complaints come much easier. I don’t deal well with confrontational folks and get nervous because I’m always afraid I’ll say the exact wrong thing at the wrong time and get fired. This job, as frustrating as it’s becoming, is all I have right now. So, I’m doing what I can to keep me and my co-workers safe, and hope the public that comes in is just as understanding, though fewer and fewer of them seem to be.

    Ugh–gotta go get changed and go to work now. Crap.

    • You’re one of the unsung heroes if your job involves dealing with the public. You and others like you are what’s keeping the economy alive. From Denver, many thanks! I know it must be a hard, thankless, sometimes dangerous job as people lose patience or never had any to begin with. Big virtual hugs from me!

"Nothing is more dangerous than ignorance and intolerance armed with power." ~ Voltaire

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