The push to make everyone wear facemasks is due to people not social distancing. Mandatory facemasks wouldn’t be needed otherwise.
Limiting face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of coronavirus. I’ve been practicing it since March. When the state opened the economy, I knew that step was made with the hopes that people would police themselves. They did not.
I decided I was still not comfortable in relaxing my stance on distancing. Until I am, there will be no social gatherings for me that aren’t work-related, limited dining out and none in crowed restaurants, limiting how often I go to the store, and staying home when I’m not working. In a nutshell, avoid close contact with everyone. Family included. If I’m ever put in a situation where I cannot avoid getting close to someone, I have masks in my purse and I will use one.
Case in point: My son and I went to lunch at 3 p.m. – midway between lunch and dinner and the time when restaurants have very few patrons. There were two cars in the parking lot. Acceptable. I drove by that same restaurant the Friday night before and every parking space was full. People were packed like sardines. I’ve dined at restaurants four times since March and always during low attendance times.
I’m policing myself and continuing to looking for ways I can reduce my exposure to COVID-19 by using social distancing. On occasion, admonishing myself strongly when I think about engaging in socialization – a thought prompted by the boredom and isolation this pandemic has caused.
Some people saw the opening of the economy as a sign that life should “get back to normal” and they stopped social distancing. Because of that, the cases of COVID-19 skyrocketed in the last 30 days. So now, the push is for everyone to wear facemasks.
An even worse development, people are taking it upon themselves to police others. Some people are verbally accosting others for not wearing a facemask. That is something this community does not need. It causes animosity and could potentially end up in a physical altercation.
I have been the victim of such a person. It was an elected official who acted more like a bully than a community leader, making nasty comments and sneaking my picture with his cellphone. Yes, I saw you. He only wears a facemask during meetings when a camera is rolling. Committee meetings without cameras and his facemask is dangling from his ear. Yet, I was the target of his antics. I continued to act professionally.
Reminder: If you do not plan to social distance, put on a facemask. If you’re like me and you’re strongly policing yourself, continue to do so. Do not police others. It won’t go well.
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.