Monday, April 27, 2020


Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail

Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels
Donning face coverings as a daily practice was an adjustment for everyone at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our trusted public health experts recommended that everyone should wear face masks and shelter in place as a precaution to slow the spread of Covid-19.  Locating face masks took on a whole new meaning when supplies were scarce, but we still needed to protect ourselves and others when it was time to go out in the public.  The internet is flooded with creative people showing step by step instructions on how to make your own face covering at home.  There was a definite upswing in groups of people sewing masks for the masses. 

It has been truly startling to witness groups of individuals who refuse to wear masks claiming that either they are healthy and don’t see the need to protect themselves or others, or possibly don’t fully understand the definition of a pandemic. 

Picture Courtesy of US Air Force
 A state mandate is not just a recommendation; it is the governing direction to abide by during a health emergency, and the name of this health emergency is COVID-19.  In California, we are fortunate to have Governor Gavin Newsom who is an outstanding leader, his commitment to public safety is paramount.  Thanks to his leadership and clear messaging, the results of sheltering in place and the use of face coverings have resulted in a flattening of the curve of new cases of COVID-19.

Dr. Anthony Fauci/image credit: Flickr
Dr. Anthony Fauci is our nations’ No.1 expert in public health and can be trusted because he sticks to the facts.  Science is not an idea or opinion that is unproven, science is factual.  The public health recommendation to “Shelter in Place” and to wear face coverings in public was not meant to stop COVID-19, but to slow the spread, buying time and allow health experts to develop a vaccine for the future.   This precious time is vital to put into place reliable testing for the masses.

Quarantine fatigue is real and with the recent warm weather, many were tempted to go outside and enjoy the sunshine.  Unfortunately, last weekend, swarms of eager beach goers ignored the order to refrain from going to the beach and disregarded the safety of others.  When we go for a walk in our neighborhood, we wear our face coverings regularly.  It’s still unsettling to see runners, walkers and cyclists out on the bike path without face coverings and display a disregard for others.  There is “no excuse “to argue personal freedom vs. pandemic. 

Donning a face mask ~  badge of courage
Photo by Guillaume Meurice from Pexels

We still need to protect ourselves when we go into the public and wearing a face covering has become as normal as putting on my shoes.  When I do go to the market, everyone is wearing a face covering, the shoppers, the clerks, the bag boys, the butcher, the store manager and this exercise has turned into a comfort for me to know that everyone is doing their part to stay safe.  Thank you to the retailers who turn patrons away at the door who do not wear face masks because your commitment is making public safety a priority.

Wearing face coverings may be with us for a long time so that even when it is safe to slowly reopen businesses and resume our lives in public, face coverings will just be another part of our wardrobe.  It will feel like second nature to us to grab our keys and face masks before heading out the door. 
Image Credit Etsy

The one precious experience that we cannot see when wearing a mask is our smile.  Our face masks are worn to protect ourselves and others, but we are missing the gift we give to one another, our smile.  I did not realize how much I missed seeing people smile at one another as we greet each other.  A smile is so welcoming, even from a total stranger, smiles are free and duplicate when freely given.  There is a basic joy that comes from a shared smile, even when we are tired, even when we are scared, a smile is good medicine for the soul.  I’m longing for my regular “Fix” that I get when I’m in the company of others.  That social component has been put on hold and is sorely missed.  Living for others is a basic rule of nature.  Guess it is time to start drawing a smile on my face masks so that I won’t feel like I’m hiding.

I am still smiling behind my mask ~

 trying to smile with my eyes!

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