Regular readers will recall that I started a new feature a few weeks ago entitled “Monday Musings” based upon the Monday thoughts I share with residents of the seniors’ community where I am Resident Manager.
You can find the first ones here — Stay At Home, Wearing A Face Mask To Protect Others, Never Ask For a Second Opinion and Useful and Proven Advice From An Old Farmer.
Here was Monday’s message shared with friends and neighbors in my community, regarding the reopening of businesses and the economy in our area and elsewhere this week . . . . .
Gradually, in baby steps, the economy and businesses are starting to reopen this week after being shuttered for the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. And the Memorial Day Weekend and Holiday is just ahead.
But what does “reopen” mean, really? For me? For you, personally?
At the risk of perhaps offending some or raining on other people’s parades, please allow me to speak bluntly, friend to friend, as the stakes going forward remain exceptionally high despite what some might have us believe. As some may know, my daughter is a paramedic who has just returned from emergency deployment after spending the last thirty-four days responding to coronavirus calls in New Jersey and New York City, so my personal frontline perspective from her reports may be a little different than others. What follows is solely my personal opinion, speaking only for myself and from the heart here out of concern for friends and neighbors, and it should strictly be viewed as such.
For some folks, reopening may mean celebrating a joyful return to the happy-go-lucky, carefree lifestyle they enjoyed before the pandemic suddenly surfaced to interrupt and change life as we knew it. Going about their days again as if nothing had changed. If that is the case, I wish them all the best and good luck. I truly hope everyone stays well.
Because the COVID-19 virus has not gone anywhere. Please do not be misled. At this very moment, it is lurking on shopping cart handles, ATM’s, payment swipe screens, tabletops, countertops, gas pump handles, elevator buttons, door handles, railings, and anywhere else someone has touched, sneezed, or coughed on. Wherever the virus has been the past few months – it is still there waiting for us. Waiting for me. Waiting for you. Just because the number of new cases and deaths has lessened recently does NOT mean the virus has gone away and it is safe to go back to business as usual.
In fact, “business as usual” may be a thing of the past, or at least until an effective and available vaccine is developed. And despite what some would have us believe, that may not happen soon. The number of cases has gone down simply because the virus has had less “targets” to hit while we all stayed at home. Now, the number of targets will be increasing again as businesses and activities resume operations and more people are out and about. Please be aware. Do not make yourself a target and become a victim by being careless.
For me, the reopening of the economy and businesses means carrying on and doing everything exactly as I have been to protect both myself and others.
I will continue wearing a mask whenever I am outside of my apartment, even though it fogs my glasses, pushes beard and moustache hairs into my mouth, is hot while walking my dog outdoors, and is quite honestly a general pain in the butt. Nevertheless, I can accept that and will continue to wear the mask not to protect myself, because they admittedly do not do that, but to protect you and others from whatever I may be unknowingly carrying. Same as before. Wearing a mask means that you are placing the welfare of others before your own personal comfort. It should go without saying that choosing not to wear one can be seen as just the opposite, placing your own comfort and feelings above your concern for others. And others will notice. So, speaking only for myself, I will continue to wear a mask for the foreseeable future, required or not, for your protection, not mine. Because I care about YOUR health and well-being enough to be uncomfortable for a few minutes each day myself.
Please do not think me rude if I do not stand right beside you now when talking, for I will also continue to practice Social Distancing. Again, for your protection, as well as mine. And I will not be running around everywhere just because society’s door has been reopened. I will still spend most of the time in my own apartment in more or less self-isolation, leaving only when truly necessary.
Do I think it is all fun? No. Do I think it is all still necessary? Absolutely.
And I will keep washing and disinfecting my hands every time I go out and come back. Still doing all of this because – Nothing Has Changed.
I strongly feel that to relax and stop being mindful of what we are doing now is to invite the virus in. If we know a wolf is at the door, we all have the common sense to keep the door closed and locked. Let’s all just think of the Coronavirus as the “Wolf At The Door” and keep it closed by being smart. Shall we?
We have all made it safely and uneventfully thru the pandemic thus far by cooperating and acting together to be safe. Now is NOT the time to relax and let our guard down. My friends, for the sake of everyone, let’s continue to be smart, stay alert, and keep our guard up during the reopening and coming weeks ahead as we go forward to stay safe and well – Together.
It is my sincere hope and wishes for you that this message today finds you and your loved ones well and in good health and that everything continues the very best.
As stated before, I encourage everyone to keep practicing good hygiene with regular handwashing and faithfully observe the recommended practices of Social Distancing, Sheltering At Home as much as possible to avoid unnecessary exposure, and wearing Facial Protection Masks to stop the spread of the COVID19 virus, especially as some areas open more and more in the days and weeks ahead.
And please continue to be gentle with both yourself and others. Kind words and simple gestures can go a long way right now to help us all get thru these times. A lot of families are out of work or have had to shut down their businesses in the past few months. If you are in a position to help someone, please do. We never need to look very far. Simply help the person nearest you. That would be a good start. — Jim (and Red!)
PS — As a friendly reminder, Little Red Bear and I have changed some Amazon marketing structures and eliminated all royalties on his “Adventures of Little Red Bear” stories to make them as affordable as possible for leisurely and relaxing reading during this time for everyone. They are always Free with Kindle Unlimited.
And if you have already read and enjoyed Red’s adventures, we would sincerely appreciate if you could take a minute to leave a review to help others find their way to the books.
Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends — “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”
“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re Braver than you believe, and Stronger than you seem, and Smarter than you think.” – A. A. Milne
“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – 14th Dalai Lama
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