Return Of The Mask

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve been pretty much mute on this site for the past few months. Without Trump and his cadre of dimwits mucking up just about everything foreign and domestic it’s hard to get all that worked up about the by comparison minor problems we all face.

Gee. And I’m not convinced that Uncle Joe is playing with a full deck, but after more than a year worrying that you might catch a deadly virus just by leaving the house in a futile search for toilet paper, it’s kinda nice to be able to return to public venues such as supermarkets without having to wear a mask. I imagine that for many shoppers this brings the same level of joy and excitement that one would experience visiting a nude beach. I digress.

But whoa Nellie. It might not be totally safe to dip your toes in the water just yet.

Here’s from a story published by CNBC:

The World Health Organization on Friday urged fully vaccinated people to continue to wear masks, social distance and practice other Covid-19 pandemic safety measures as the highly contagious delta variant spreads rapidly across the globe.

“People cannot feel safe just because they had the two doses. They still need to protect themselves,” Dr. Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant director-general for access to medicines and health products, said during a news briefing from the agency’s Geneva headquarters.

“Vaccine alone won’t stop community transmission,” Simao added. “People need to continue to use masks consistently, be in ventilated spaces, hand hygiene … the physical distance, avoid crowding. This still continues to be extremely important, even if you’re vaccinated when you have a community transmission ongoing.”

The health organization’s comments come as some countries, including the United States, have largely done away with masks and pandemic-related restrictions as the Covid vaccines have helped drive down the number of new infections and deaths.

Say what?

So in literary terms we can paraphrase the Bard: To mask or not to mask? That is the question.

During my working life I spent around 40 years in various communications related jobs. And I can say without fear of contradiction that the messaging throughout this pandemic has been a fiasco.

Here’s the advice from the CDC: Everyone should wear a mask and social distance. Well, maybe that’s not really necessary. But if you are inclined to wear a mask, maybe one isn’t enough. Why not try two or more. And so on.

And getting vaccinated is really the only way to protect yourself and others. But if you don’t want to get vaccinated (hat tip here to the former POTUS) maybe a shot of Clorox is all you need.

So it goes.

In any event, at a time when most people in the USA would rather die than continue to wear a face mask, WHO officials are encouraging people to cover up. Good luck with that. Many people, for whatever irrational reason, have decided they aren’t going to get the vaccine. And even getting a shot at a million bucks via a state lottery ain’t going to change that.

And it would be nice if someone in charge actually provided some guidance that met the test of time.

Oh, well.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any answers. So I guess like most people I’ll continue to rely on the Internet for medical advice.

Let’s hope for the best.

Published by

Rob Jewell

I’m Rob Jewell and I live and write in Woodland Park, Colorado, the City Above the Clouds. I've been fortunate. I worked for 29 years at BFGoodrich in Akron, Ohio. I started editing employee publications and ended as vice president of corporate communications. Then I started a public relations consulting company before becoming a full-time faculty member in the School of Journalism at Kent State University. I taught courses in writing, public relations and mass communication ethics. And I supervised a student-run public relations firm, called Flash Communications. During my tenure at Kent State I was honored to receive the university’s Outstanding Teaching Award. During most of this time I've been a dedicated runner. OK, jogger, if you take speed into consideration. But while my times are not much to write about, I was and am committed. For almost 30 years I ran at least 1,000 miles each year. (Except for one year when I tore my calf muscle playing tennis. So much for tennis.) Being on the road most mornings at 5 a.m. gave me some time to think. It also led to some amazing friendships that now span more than three decades. And my longtime love affair with running helped me shape my first novel, Then We Ran, which is available wherever electronic books are sold. And just so you don't think that all I did was work and run, I have other interests as well, many centering on family. My wife, Mary, was a successful and highly regarded career teacher in the Akron public schools. She now devotes her time and energy to a host of social and athletic activities in Woodland Park. My son, Brian, teaches at Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs where he is also the head soccer coach. And my daughter, Jessica, has completed her doctorate at Kent State University where she is also an administrator with the Wick Poetry Center. I've done a lot of writing during my career -- but Jessica is the real writer in the family. I'll try not to make too many errors in this blog. I'm sure she'll be watching.

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