When the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020, I was one of those young, healthy people. I wasn’t a high risk individual. Experts thought that, if I got sick, I would be able to get over the virus without much problem. I still took precautions to stay healthy, but the threat wasn’t quite as acute.
But within a couple months, I earned membership into the high-risk-individuals club. Chemotherapy weakens my immune system. So, even without a pandemic, I need to be careful to limit exposure to illnesses.
Luckily, the protocols are the same for patients on chemo and COVID-19. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with running water and soap. Use hand sanitizer. Wear a mask. Keep distance between you and other people. Limit exposure by staying home as much as possible. Clean surfaces with disinfectants.
I’ve diligently done those things since the global pandemic started. And I continue to do them to keep myself and others safe. It isn’t fun. It isn’t comfortable. It takes an extra level of awareness. But it’s necessary and it works.
I’m not living in fear. I’ve heard that one a lot. It just isn’t true. We have scientifically proven ways to keep ourselves safe. So I’m going to do those things to the best of my ability. If they ultimately don’t work and I get sick, then we’ll deal with that when it comes. So I’m not living in fear, I’m living my life and taking precautions.
I’ll admit it disappoints me when I see people walking around without masks in public. I understand that certain people don’t wear masks for medical reasons (I have a friend who suffers from PTSD). But I’m willing to bet most of these individuals aren’t going without for medical reasons.
In fact, I saw just how ridiculous people can be when trying to get into the hospital. There’s only one entrance for non-employees. Everyone has to tell staff where they’re going and answer a questionnaire about symptoms. Each person is awarded with a slip of paper that must be with them at all times inside the building.
One woman threw a fit that she had to answer questions. She thought it was ridiculous because she wasn’t a patient. Even after she answered, she refused to take the slip of paper. Eventually, she stormed back outside and yelled “I’ll just find another entrance!” Good luck, lady.
On the other hand, I appreciate all the people who take the protocols seriously. On good days I go to the office for a few hours (I miss it!). My co-workers always wear their masks around me. Visitors wear masks inside and out of my house. My family is being super careful and trying to avoid unnecessary contact with others. Those small actions keep me safe so I can visit my parents, see my niece, and get out of the house (very important for my mental health!).
I can’t control what other people do. I can only control what I do. So I’ll continue to take precautions: washing my hands, wearing a mask, keeping my distance. And I hope you’ll consider all the people like me, who are high risk during a global pandemic, and put on your mask after washing your hands.
Fellow farmer here. Totally get and respect your outlook. I can’t imagine being in your (and many others) position where immune systems are extra compromised while dealing with a virus that is in the news daily. I want to point out a few things you mentioned though. While I’m sure a lot of people not wearing masks may have the attitude of refusing to live in fear, there are those of us who after doing extensive research, just simply believe that wearing cloth masks (and in the unsanitary ways most of us handle and store them) simply do not work. So while I agree that keeping a safe distance and hand washing are good precautions to take, I also believe that upping your vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, healthy stretching/exercising/deep breathing will do more for keeping one healthy and protecting others than wearing a little cloth mask. They are just gross.
I’ll never understand the hubris it takes to think you know better than the entire global health community. You haven’t done research, you’ve done “research.” I’ll stick to following the experts.
I’m sorry. I didn’t I didn’t intend to anger you or imply that I know more than the experts. I don’t. The conclusions of experts can vary a bit, however. Many PPE experts in regards to virology and immunology have said that to help stop the virions from the coronavirus, a N95 mask is best. Most of us don’t have those. They have also said if one has to wear a cloth mask, then wear one made of 3 different layers with the outer being water resistant, the middle one like polypropylene and inner layer a wicking material. If people actually wear one of those types, then great! Most people I know do not. They wear little 1 or 2 layer fabric masks and constantly touch their masks, take them on and off and stuff into their pockets or purses to wear again later. So my research actually encourages me that when I see someone without a mask or practicing incorrect mask measures, it’s not worth getting angry about. I just do what I can control and believe works best and don’t worry about trying to control them. If one’s “research” ends at the simple conclusion of “just wear a mask”, then then that is a little different conclusion than my research. So with all of that being said, I sincerely pray you have a full recovery in your fight and that your energy goes into everything you need to do to make that happen. Please don’t waste your precious energy on things or people you can’t control. Also wishing your family a safe and bountiful harvest season. I just climbed out of the tractor/grain cart in our 3rd day of bean cutting here.
Thanks for clarifying. I don’t necessarily agree that the cloth masks are useless (in fact, we see Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci wearing them all the time). Thanks for the well wishes and I hope you have a bountiful harvest! Stay safe!