One Man's Opinion: To Mask, or NOT to Mask

COVID19 positive test results are significantly rising. Georgia last week experienced three consecutive days of daily sharp increases and record 'positives.' Not going to spend time or precious word count here debating the 'why.' Test results LAG tests by several days, often 7-10 days, meaning that today's spikes are documentation of infection or virus spread which actually occurred a week or two ago. All but the most ardent anarchists would prefer NOT to drag this state or our nation's economy through another prolonged period of shut-down (note I did leave in an exception).

Masks and other public health recommendations should not be partisan issues, yet I will again not weigh in here on the cries of 'hoax,' or intentional launch of a global pandemic to harpoon ONE political incumbent who otherwise on several other fronts make himself quite a fine target. I am going to assume that each of us has family, friends or loved ones whom we might want to protect from this dire illness. In my own case, my oldest daughter is pregnant with twins (high risk), my youngest child has asthma and a slightly compromised immune system (high risk) and my mother is both immune-compromised, living on an oxygen machine and medically fragile (high risk).

So...though I am not living the life of a shut-in, I take precautions. Shoes stay at the doorway, hand-washing to the point that my palms and backs of hands are continually red and almost chapped and whenever I am outside and about and among others...I am wearing a mask. And make no mistake. I hate them. And yet... I still wear them.

Smoking and lung disease cost me both of my paternal grandparents. Fifty plus years of smoking have my mother struggling to breathe and function in her ever-shrinking world. I held my grandfather, William C. "Bud" Crane's hand as he painfully struggled to breathe his final breath. His face contorted in agony, his chest heaved...and his eyes and expression froze showing significant pain as he literally drowned in front of me as his lungs liquified. Is was not peaceful, nor dignified...and though I have unfortunately seen other deaths and dying, this was a horrible way to go.

Would you drink after or share dining utensils with a stranger? Would you feel comfortable dining in a restaurant where the workers/servers wore no masks, gloves, or hairnets in the preparation of your food? Would you have unprotected sex on a routine basis with many people while being in a relationship with someone you care about? Would you swap gum or spit or even a lollipop with even a friend or family member intentionally?

Here is another one...and this is particularly tricky. Would a wall along our southern border act as a BARRIER and slow the unlawful crossing of non-citizens into our sovereign nation? Okay then, pretend the potential COVID19 virus spores are illegals from Mexico. Now, if all of this common sense has you revisiting your own thinking on to mask or not to mask…

Your mask should cover your NOSE and MOUTH.

If wearing a cloth mask, please wash or rinse out after a day or two of use.

You can scowl, not smile or smile while mouthing obscenities silently to yourself while mask-wearing...and no one will know.

Yes, they are inconvenient, hot, ear chaffing, sticky, unflattering and occasionally smell bad. But the masks won't likely KILL YOU. COVID19 possibly could, or worse, with you not taking common-sense precautions, YOU could assist the death of someone who means all the world to you.

And yes, it would be nice if most world leaders modeled the behavior which they are expecting. But that said, I don't see the rest of the country dipping themselves in orange bronzer or seeking out bad comb-overs either.

If a mask would prevent you from getting cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, would you likely wear it? COVID19 is none of these things, but as I know several people who have experienced the worst of both, only those in later stage cancer treatment or severe COVID19 hospitalizations have told me that there were times when they would have preferred death.

We don't need mask laws or even gubernatorial executive orders...we just need commons sense and common courtesy. If you are not alone, exercising outdoors or able to exist without breathing...then please, for those whom you do love and care about...don't be an ask...wear a mask.

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