“To Mask or “Not To Mask?”
Well, folks — it’s really not a question anymore, is it? But after having been told a few weeks ago that healthy people should not wear a mask, possible confusion is understandable.
With this virus being so new and unknown, as we learn more about it, guidelines and recommendations change. And that’s a good thing.
We now have learned that the COVID19 virus can be spread by people carrying the virus who display no symptoms at all. So, wearing a mask will not necessarily prevent us from getting sick if there are viruses in the air around us, as they may still enter in the air we breathe coming in from around the edges of the mask. That’s just the way it is. But, wearing a mask is much better in preventing viruses from getting out as we exhale, protecting those others around us — family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow shoppers at the grocery store. And that is why we are all being urged to wear a face mask when out in public now. To keep each of us from unknowingly spreading the virus to others.
As frequent visitors may recall, last Monday’s post featured a poll in which readers could vote on whether to continue with a new “Monday Musings” feature. (If you missed it, here is a link. Just tap here to see it.)
The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of continuing the Monday Musings feature, so here we go with another. The subject of today’s piece here at our seniors’ community was Masks. Here in the St. Louis area, masks are now required for essential visitors to gain admittance to our resident buildings in order to visit or do work. The wearing of masks is required for all staff working here and strongly urged for residents. In fact, we cannot enter our local grocery store to shop without wearing a mask now, in order to protect the workers.
Thankfully, most residents are heeding the advice and wearing masks now, in a wide assortment of colors and styles as volunteers have been making homemade masks for those in need of one in a wide assortment of styles and colors.
That one made from discarded brassieres could have maybe taken a little more thought and planning, though. Some bra masks here look more like a catcher’s mask and throat protector hanging down in front than a ‘surgical type’ mask but do seem to serve the function, so regardless of what any mask looks like that is the important part, after all.
Here then, expanding on a brief afterthought from last week’s post, was today’s Musing to address a misconception about why we have been asked to wear a mask, and to encourage those stubborn holdouts to start using one . . . .
We have all been asked to wear a mask when out and about. A simple enough request, not aimed at protecting ourselves so much, as more to protect others from US in the possibility that we may be infected by the Coronavirus, displaying no outward symptoms, being unaware that we are even infected. That is happening a lot, it seems.
Wearing a mask then, the message we are conveying is not “I am selfishly protecting myself from your germ-infested body”, but rather is – “I care enough about YOU and protecting YOUR health to wear this mask in order to Protect YOU From ME.”
Wearing a mask is a way of actively demonstrating kindness and compassion for others. Actually walking the walk, so to speak. Most major religions of note are big on that kind of thing.
“Typhoid Mary” (real name Mary Mallon) is still remembered to this day for her unlimited sharing, and not in a particularly good sort of way. None of us want that.
Accordingly, in the interest of public safety during the current Coronavirus situation and with my friends’ and neighbors’ best interests at heart, I have decided to wear a mask.
I will be going with the traditional Bandit Bandana style, ala Jesse James. It covers my nose and mouth while allowing me to breathe freely, does not fog my eyeglasses, and most importantly, does not force moustache hairs into my mouth all day long. I believe these were pretty much the same reasons Jesse chose a Bandit Bandana mask too, back in the day.
For those questioning the effectiveness of such a mask, I believe the historical record will bear me out on this. No one was ever found to have caught a virus of any kind from Jesse James during a bank holdup or train robbery while he was wearing his Bandit Bandana mask. Not one documented instance. A few unlucky souls may have regrettably caught a bullet or two from time to time perhaps, but there have been no documented cases of anyone ever having caught a virus. So, if Bandit Bandanas worked for Jesse James and the boys, I figure they will work just fine for me.
And, who knows? It may open up new career opportunities along the way. “Always be open to possibilities when they present themselves,” my enterprising father would say.
(In case you are wondering – I am going with the basic “Red Robber” model for starters. When in doubt about fashion, always stick with the classics, I say. And, they are running an Introductory Special over at “Bad Bob’s Bandit Bandanas” shop over in Round Corners. Get yours today at Bad Bob’s and tell ‘em I sent ya.)
Whatever style you choose, please wear a mask in public.
It’s for the best — For you — For everyone!
For information on How to Protect Yourself & Others from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), simply tap the link.
Please remember, Bandit Mask kidding aside, in order to be effective a mask must adequately cover both the nose and mouth if you are thinking about making one at home. In this case, your favorite Lone Ranger mask will no longer meet the needs, sadly.
Here are some easy-to-follow instructions for making your own bandana mask at home, using only a bandana and rubber bands (or hair ties).
Hopefully, with each of us doing our part, even if it is as simple as wearing a face mask when out in public, we can slow and eventually stop the spread of this COVID19 virus altogether and get back to a sense of normalcy in our lives.
Although I have the growing sense that as each day passes, a return to “normalcy” gets further and further pushed down the line, making it even more important that we all work together thru this. And eventually, whenever that time comes, be it May, June, or December, we will have gotten thru this.
And please remember, wearing a mask does NOT replace Social Distancing. Along with dutifully washing our hands and wearing a mask in public, Social Distancing is one of the most important things we can do right now to slow the spread of the COVID19 virus.
Thanks always for visiting! Best wishes and health! — 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 . . . .”
Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages!
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:4
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