Trust Us: It’s For Your Own Good

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Yep! I’m obviously not Van Gogh. (Maybe a bit Dali or Picasso, perhaps?)

It’s been a few months now since the mask mandate and the majority of folks are donning their masks.

After I got home from grocery shopping today, I sat down on my comfy sofa and drank my homemade cafe latte and thought about all the faces I half-way saw at the store.

They all appeared (from what I could see) in various stages of emotional alarm anytime anyone neared them.  All I have to go on is the memory of eyebrows arched upward, eyebrows knitted together, eyes round like saucers. Everybody six or more feet apart, and cringing anytime another person even appeared to be 5.75 feet near their space.

Occasionally eyes would meet mine and they would quickly step away as if I myself were a contagion ready to unleash my toxins upon them.

I don a mask when I am in public. I obey the law whether I want to or not. I’m not a donkey’s bottom so I do as the law mandates (within legal and moral reason, of course).

I have learned a lot in the past few months. The coronavirus lockdown has taught me that I can make my cafe lattes at home for a fraction of the price I used to spend in coffee shops. I have also learned that I don’t really need to go to clothing stores or libraries or bookstores because I can order on Amazon. I have also learned that I can bake my own bread and pastries and I don’t have to even go to the bakeries anymore. I have learned that I can work from home and don’t even have to go out to work. I have learned that I no longer have to waste my money buying flavorless vegetables from the supermarket because now I have my own beautiful vegetable garden. I have learned that I don’t even have to go to church. I can attend church online.I have learned that I can go days without even speaking to another human being other than family members or close friends on the phone. Yes, the coronavirus lockdown has taught me a lot. Mainly that I don’t need to interact with merchants as much as I did in the past. It has taught me that I don’t need to interact with others outside my immediate circle of family and friends.

I think back to the fear I see in the eyes positioned directly above  masks and I can’t help but wonder what the long-term impact this social distancing (aka social isolation) will have on our abilities to interact with others face-to-face when all this is over.

We are seeing that people are confronting each other over masks use. Usually this confrontation is fueled by fear. Some people have a fear of suffocating behind the mask. This could be psychological, physiological, or emotional. Who knows? But, isn’t that that person’s own business? I think so. Agree with me or disagree. It’s just my opinion and I have my right to it. Or the person could just be a donkey’s bottom. Who knows? Social courtesy dictates that we should mind our own business. It is the role of the authorities to intervene, not us. I fear that social courtesy has been damaged by this lockdown, this social distancing mandate. People are forgetting how to respectfully interact with each other in person. Fear of getting sick is a legitimate fear, that I do not doubt.  Nobody wants to get sick. This is where our own personal choices and behaviors come into play. I hate wearing the mask, as I do believe most people hate it, too.. I wear it because there is some evidence that it can protect me and others from this virus.  It is a reasonable mandate, however, the mandates do have exceptions for people with certain psychological or physiological issues.

In the grocery store, I have seen some people not wearing the mask. It is not my business whether the person wears it or not. I do keep my distance, as I have actually always done in a public setting.

So, I sit here on my comfy sofa, finish my cafe latte, type out my opinion on what I think could potentially be the long-term consequences of this coronavirus lockdown. It has felt like de facto house arrest, actually. I wonder what the psychological damage this entire experience will have upon those who suffer from anxiety and depression. Isolation is damning to the mind and spirit and has devastating repercussions for physical health.

Stay home, stay safe might not be really safe at all. In fact, it might be downright out dangerous. Only time will tell.

For me, I plan to go shopping this weekend (on line) because I just don’t feel like standing in line while ten other shoppers are counted out before entry into the stores.

Yep, the coronavirus lockdown has taught me a lot.

It’s yet to be seen whether what I have learned from it has  actually been  beneficial to my spirit in the long run.

Jenny W. Andrews, Copyright, 2020

 

Handwashing: Coronavirus Defense

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Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

This afternoon, I went to the grocery store to pick up a few items. Needless to say, everyone is concerned about the Coronavirus. I understand that completely.  For some reason beyond my comprehension toilet paper has completely disappeared from the shelves. Did I miss something in the last few days regarding the importance of having an excessive abundance of toilet tissue? Hand sanitizer is missing, as well.

While I can certainly relate to the gravity of this pandemic and the utmost necessity of preparing oneself, I fear that there are some among us who in a panicked state grab whatever they can out of fear of not having enough.

Fear and panic will only exacerbate the situation. By overbuying toilet paper, hand sanitizer and other necessary items shoppers will create shortages. These shortages will have a negative impact on others who need the products as much as you do. Before you buy something, please consider other people and their needs. Of course your primary responsibility is to yourself and your loved ones, but please do not forget that we are a community. As a community, all our actions whether negative or positive, have consequences beyond our individual selves. Other people matter.

From what I have read, keeping your hands clean by washing them frequently is an effective strategy for reducing the spread of this virus.

It is my opinion that maintaining a healthy diet that boosts your immune system is another effective strategy when faced with this virus.

Although it is easier said than done, get enough sleep and take a break from worrying. Worrying does not help. Worrying only makes things worse.  Find some activity that can redirect your thoughts. Watch a comedy; take a walk in nature. Do something you enjoy that will redirect your thoughts from worrying about this virus. Worrying about it will not help you. What strategies can you implement that will help you deal with its challenges? Be proactive. Do what you can and then let go of the worry.

Life will always have hardships and challenges. In order to conquer those hardships and challenges it is absolutely imperative that we all work together rather than against each other. Our strength comes from our unity as human beings on God’s earth. Each of us matters; each of us deserves to be loved, cared for and respected.

Let’s support each other during these dark days. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. We will conquer this virus.

May God bless us, comfort us and keep us in His care, for always.

Copyright 2020 Jenny W. Andrews