I have been watching Covid developments in Catalunya and the Baleares with interest, as they have recently made mask-wearing mandatory EVERYWHERE outside your home (exceptions: at the beach or pool, doing outdoor sports) and am hoping that Andalucía will follow suit without first waiting for infections to rise, which is likely now that our borders are open again and there is no test & trace programme in operation.
The thing is, as time goes on people are becoming more relaxed about this virus that nobody actually knows much about, not even the experts. And many of these deniers have decided to cherry pick the “expert information” they read or hear about, according to what they want to believe, and accept it as fact. And then expect everyone else to agree with them.
Me, on the other hand, prefer to go by information that is at least backed up by some scientific evidence. I do admit I am often looking for information that will back up my own (sometimes? often?) unpopular opinion – that there is no fucking way we are in the clear yet. Simply because I am often being made to feel ridiculous for continuing to be so careful. For me the biggest mistake made so far by the Spanish government (after not shutting down soon enough) has been reopening the borders immediately after lockdown was lifted, without any sort of test & trace programme, really without any plan other than take temps at the airport. EVERYONE knows by now that many people with Covid don’t have fevers, many don’t present at all, but they are still infectious carriers. Meanwhile other people could have a fever for other innocuous reasons, like having their periods. What is needed is a Covid test upon arrival, and seclusion until results arrive. For starters.
Meanwhile, I’ve heard it all from some friends of mine here already. Not sure if they are actual Deniers, but they are at least somewhat in denial, either because they have businesses to run or they simply WANT THEIR OLD LIVES BACK. Well, who doesn’t, sweetheart? I personally ache for it myself. All the time. Every day.
People are so quick to want to believe what they want to believe. For example, that if the government thought “fill in the blank” was dangerous then they wouldn’t allow it (SRSLY?? how fucking naive are you?). That if the virus was really so contagious then everyone would be sick by now (um, just wait a bit), that the virus is actually getting weaker (can you spell MUTATE?), not to mention the whole “oh I’ve had it already and have antibodies” trope (yes, you CAN be reinfected and meanwhile infect people), and all of them blindly accepting the standards set by our governments because… I have no fucking idea.
Yesterday a friend actually rolled their eyes at me when they came to greet me with a kiss and I put my hand up to stop them (and I LOVE kisses!). Another friend pointed around the restaurant where we’d met for lunch, saying that nobody else had any problem with sitting maskless across a table with people they might not have seen for months. Except I was actually having that very problem but didn’t want to spoil our lunch by speaking out. That won’t happen again.
And okay, it’s true, like almost everyone, I also don’t always read peer-reviewed scientific papers on every theory on this virus that supports my own gut feeling. But at least my opinions aren’t putting anyone else at risk. In fact, they are keeping YOU safer while making my life a bit sadder. Meaning that my life, for now, is still very restricted in terms of human contact and, well, everything. I am basically still in Phase 2.
Yes, I have issues with my ol’ immunocompromised system, thanks to previous cancer and chemo treatments, and it doesn’t help that I suffer from chronic anxiety and bouts of agoraphobia. You might think all of that might be actually “helpful” about the whole staying indoors thing, since often I have no choice anyhow. Except it isn’t really easier for me. It also doesn’t mean that I “deserve” to stay in Phase 2 forever just because you want a fucking holiday.
But what it does give me is a perspective that “entitled” people will never grasp. That this is not all fucking about you. I never once asked “why me?” when I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2008, I just followed doctors orders, stayed home, mostly because I was too sick to do anything else, and somehow came out the other side. So I know what it’s like to have one’s life shut down. And maybe that is why I don’t see this virus as an affront to my “personal freedom”. Especially when things like staying home and WEARING A FUCKING MASK can make all the difference, and guess what, not that hard to do if you actually care about the rest of humanity.
So while I cannot control what you choose to do, I can and do control my own behaviour in public by ALWAYS wearing a mask (except when safely seated and enjoying a cold beer). It is the very least we can do. From now on if ANYONE has a problem with me asking them to put their mask on when I am with them, I will simply walk away.
You’re not being at all silly. Denial and entitlement are on full display here int eh States, and look at the fucking mess we’re in: ICus in at least two states maxed out, a quarter of the world’s known cases.
Left unchecked, this thing spreads at a rate way worse than the flu. We have only a faint grasp of why it makes some people very sick/kills them while others have no overt symptoms (but, we now know, still suffer damage to lungs forex). A good comparison is HIV at the point when we had developed drugs that let lots of people live normal lives. Is it still okay to be casual, stop bothering with testing and throw out the condoms? Why in this case would you refuse the cautionary measures and the mask?
Yeah, people want their lives back. I can’t go to the GYM. I live to lift and I need rehab now that I’m almost six weeks out from surgery and I haven’t lifted as such since march. I feel myself shriveling up. I hurt, because lifting is my pain medicine, weird as that sounds to some people. I don’t sleep right. And I am not walking into a killing bottle full of people exhaling.
I want my income back. I have enough money dropping every month from Social Security that I don’t have to worry about dipping into the emergency $ if I am sensible, I’m still getting the parameters of it — which makes me very lucky, because some people have no choice. But being able to splash out on a fun thing isn’t worth risking my life or the lives of people I might transmit to, and I CANNOT BELIEVE that I have clients calling to see if I’ll “work on them in a mask if it’s just on the back.” I’M IN A ROOM WITH YOU FOR AN HOUR IN CONSTANT CONTACT and exerting myself. How can that be safe? I’m almost THANKFUL that I can say “You might have missed the e-mail but I just got opened up from A to Izzard, I wouldn’t be working anyway.”
T. S. Eliot penned the line “Human kind cannot bear very much reality.” I bitch more than you do, I think, but I don’t pretend what’s happening isn’t happening. The virus is still there like it was last week and last month and it’ll be there until we have a vaccine and have shut EVERYTHING down long enough that transmission approaches zero. (I’m thinking two months.) But our leaders won’t do that second thing. We need EVERYONE STAY THE FUCK HOME and masks mandatory when people have to go out and something like the push to raise an army and equip it during WWII in America, only instead consisting of government adminstered funding to enable people to get through it with adequate means. But this administration? We’re on our own.
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Hey, you rant even better than me! 🙂
I hate to think that we are the minority when it comes to sensible people doing what’s right for society, even though we are being inconvenienced. Because really that’s all it is – an inconvenience. We are still alive and healthy, have a roof over our heads, plenty to eat, internet, etc etc… that we don’t get to play with all our toys for awhile isn’t even close to being a hardship.
Wait until the second and third waves hit us and all the essential “heroes” say FUCK THIS SHIT and justifiably bugger off, and we are left not only toilet-paperless but without electricity and water.
I’m ranting to anyone who will listen at this point. And yeah, I’m wondering what will happen if enough of the “essential” workers simply DIE OFF and we’re all fucked.