Even with vaccinations underway throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, total infections of the COVID-19 virus topped 60,000 cases Thursday with 2,082 new ones reported by the Virginia Department of Health. Deaths now top 10,000 and continue to climb.
Doctors who work on dealing with the virus say too many people still don’t actively take the precautions needed to remain safe. Too many still out and about without masks, too many huddles close together, and too many not taking the time to wash their hands and take the other important steps.
Some claim “underlying conditions” they say endangers them if they wear masks.
My wife suffers from severe asthma. You won’t see her out without a mask. I have COPD, a frequent excuse we hear from those who sprew their germs about without covering their virus spreading mouth or nose, which gets into their system to infect.
In Food Lion this week, a man in line for checkout responded to a woman who asked where his mask was with “I can’t wear them. I have a condition that prevents me from wearing one.”
I was behind her and she said “I wonder what that his condition might be?”
“Stupidity,” I told her. “Damn dumb and stupid idiocy.”
He glared back at both of us but said nothing.
Three months into the pandemic last year, Rex Huppke wrote in the Chicago Tribune:
In parks and front yards in the city and suburbs, I see kids congregating, the vast majority not wearing masks or social distancing. There are adults going into shops, bars and restaurants with masks covering only their mouths, not their noses. Or no masks at all.
Huppke reported a model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington showed that if 95 percent of people in this nation would wear masks, it would save more than 45,000 lives every three months.
The headline read: Not wearing a mask is as dumb as not wearing a condom — in the Covid-19 age, practice safe living.
Reminds me of a coed at Radford University who went on Spring Break with her boyfriend and came home with COVID-19.
“We thought we were being safe,” she said. “We used condoms.”
That illustrates the lack of understanding on how to deal with infectious diseases.
A year ago, as the pandemic was still in its early stages, newspaper reporters and photographers like myself were advised to avoid public places where COVID usually runs rampant, places like courtrooms, public meetings and sporting events — the very places I frequent in my profession.
I believe I have avoided infection because I wear a mask, keep a social distance, wash my hands and wipe down places I have touched. Businesses in Floyd display signs that say flatly: “Must wear a face covering before entering,” but too many of them let people in if they don’t.
Amy and I had a St. Patrick Day’s lunch of cabbage and corn beef at the Floyd Country Store, which keeps its dining tables more than six feet apart and tell those who enter to put on a mask or go elsewhere.
But other places we stopped, the bareface brigade was out in force, so we went home and stayed there.