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.

No Mask. No Service. It’s Simple

No mask, no service. It’s simple.

Those were the words Colorado Gov. Jared Polis used yesterday when he announced that people throughout the state are now required to wear a face mask when in indoor public spaces.

Good for Polis.

And good for Colorado

Here’s from The Colorado Sun:

Gov. Jared Polis on Thursday, facing pressure from the medical community and Democratic state lawmakers, issued a statewide mandate requiring Coloradans to wear a mask when in indoor public spaces.

The mask order takes effect on Friday and lasts through at least Aug. 15. It applies to anyone older than age 10.

Masks must also be worn by people who are waiting outdoors for a taxi, bus, light rail, car service, rideshare or other mass transit or similar transportation service.

Violators may be “subject to civil or criminal penalties, including but not limited to prosecution for trespass,” the order says.

Businesses must post signs about the mandate and “must refuse entry or service to people who are not wearing masks,” the governor’s office says.

“No mask, no service. It’s simple, ” Polis said as he announced the order at a news conference at the governor’s mansion. “… This is a law like any other.”

If only it were that simple.

But alas, POTUS and his cadre of incompetent lackeys (yes Betsy DeVos, I’m thinking about you) have managed to make wearing a face mask (or not) a political statement. You would think that common sense in the midst of a worldwide pandemic that has already claimed north of 130,000 American lives would prevail. But I guess not.


Oh, boy. Remember that most of these people (if not hospitalized or worse) will be voting in November. I digress. And I guess we are in a country where you still have a right to your own opinion, regardless of how misguided it might be.


Still, I have a hard time understanding the opposition to wearing a mask. It seems to me to be a relatively minor inconvenience that could protect me or others from contacting the virus. It’s that simple.

And it’s not like we are completely free to do whatever we want whenever and wherever we want. For instance, I can’t imagine that I would be welcomed in the local grocery store if I decided it was my constitutional right not to wear pants.IMG_0022Good grief.

And I imagine some people have it way worse than being required to wear a face mask.


Walmart, in fact, announced recently that it would require that everyone entering or working in a store would be required to wear a mask. That’s a good start, although I expect the policy will not be without its glitches.


Oh, well. I guess it won’t be that simple after all.

To Mask Or Not To Mask?

With all due respect to the musings of Shakespeare, it appears that wearing a face mask (or not) during a global pandemic has become the moral and political question of our time.

And I’ll admit that I’m not thrilled about wearing a face mask whenever I leave the relative safety of home. Yet I’m also not enthusiastic about the prospect of getting ill with a virus that has killed more than 120,000 Americans and counting.

Yet the face mask dilemma pretty much illustrates the administration’s fatally flawed response to this crisis.

Clearly, months ago the medical experts — including the good doctor Fauci and his cohorts at the CDC — didn’t understand the seriousness of the virus or how it spread or even to whom. So we entered the fray with an abundance of messages that as it turns out didn’t move the ball forward even an inch: masks don’t do any good, only the old and seriously ill could get the virus and so on.

Now the messages have changed, and everyone is being urged (in some cases required) to wear a face mask and we are told younger people are just as likely to get the virus as their elderly parents or grandparents.

I worked in communication related jobs for nearly 40 years, and I can say from personal experience that there is nothing worse than giving your audience a mixed message. Once someone grabs hold of information that supports their own beliefs, changing that message and getting them to believe something else is almost impossible.

And then add into the mix POTUS, someone who defines the Peter Principle and is so inept that he can’t find his ass with both hands in the dark. But at some level you have to give him credit. He managed to turn wearing a face mask into a political issue, and if you a caught wearing one in public you are a wuss while the true patriots are out there bare faced and protecting their constitutional rights and personal freedoms.

Good grief. If we took that approach during WWII, we would all be speaking German or Japanese today. I digress.




Okay. I get it. As Patrick Henry said: “Give me liberty or give me death.”

Still, I’m not convinced that these modern day patriots have given this all the thought or study that they should. Again, some mixed messages.


So I guess I’ll take the advice of the medical experts. And realistically, I don’t know if wearing a face mask does any good or not. But if nothing else, wearing one seems to say that I care enough not to want to contract the virus myself or pass it along to someone else.

That seems to be a rather straightforward message.

To mask or not to mask?

That is the question.