So I had a two work-related meetings yesterday, both about an hour long, and I was surprised to see that at both places the people I met with weren’t wearing masks. And well, okay, we were seated *almost* a metre apart (the new magic distancing measurement) and nobody was coughing or sneezing, but we all know about transmission from aerosol droplets now, which can stay in the air for up to eight hours. So I sat there uncomfortably until the meetings were finished, slathered sanitising gel on my hands and left.
Then on the way home I decided to see if anyone was at my hairdresser’s. I know they stay open all day and that usually during lunchtime (2-4pm) it is quiet. And so it was. In fact at first I thought they were closed but the owner was outside having a cigarette and came over when he saw me at the door. I told him I just wanted a wash and cut, and he could skip the blow drying, so I was out of there again in about 15 minutes. I noticed that they are now using disposable “towels” and single use plastic capes, but just before I sat down to have my hair washed I said to Joaquín, “aren’t you going to put on a mask?” and he said yes of course, that he just had it off while he was outside, etc. I explained about my immunocompromised situation (he knows about the cancer, been going here for years) and after that he seemed to take even extra care, wiping down the chairs with antiseptic gel before I sat down, so that was good. And while I am never totally comfortable in public places these days, at least I felt precautions were being taken.
But I noticed – and learned – something about those different experiences. At the meetings where I was hoping to get a work offer I didn’t feel like I could mention the mask issue, but where I was a paying customer I felt totally within my rights to request that a mask be worn. And I thought to myself afterwards, is that what it comes down to? That my life is worth less when there is money involved? And so even though I really need the money, I vowed never again. If some people want to believe they are somehow safe from this virus then I guess I will have to keep my distance. Me? I’d rather believe Dr Fauci.