I live in the South Florida area, and that is all you need to know when it comes to COVID-19.
We are well over the 100,000 mark in terms of number of infections, and our state infection rate is over 10%. Our deaths per number of infections depends on whom you believe: the actual scientists with real numbers, or our podium-posturing, economy-addicted governor who downplays the numbers and blames everything from additional testing (!) to immigrants, old people, young people and alien invaders for the increases.
To make matters worse, we have a number of “freedom fighters” who believe it’s a sin to tamper with their oxygen and the ability to spout false claims about the efficacy of mask usage, so they are suing the governments of at least 10 counties to make masks a personal choice. They think it’s unfair to cut off a person’s air supply and tinker with their First Amendment rights. They scream about their children starving because they are shut out of grocery stores due to their personal choice.
Have these people ever read the First Amendment? Or do they know of anyone actually suffocated by a mask? I’ll say no on both counts.
I’m not the mask police. I wear one anytime I am outside in public, even to places where it is not mandatory, such as the pool in the next county north. I take on with me when I run or bike, and put it on when I enter a store to pick up a newspaper, short a visit as that is. This isn’t about me. It’s about you. And about my spouse, who is particularly vulnerable to the virus. And about the elderly or medically compromised family and friends you love, and who may still like you in spite of your offensive behavior, who still have some living to do.
There are workarounds for those with medical issues, such as face shields that fit over medical breathing apparatus. There are delivery services offering everything from pet food and toilet paper to medicine and food brought right to your door. If you cannot go out, or will not follow conventional safety practices, ask a friend or neighbor who does and will shop for you.
I believe all those who object to following the CDC safety protocols should be brought together on an island and left there. Free to breathe on one another and commiserate about how great it is not to have to worry about those silly, scared, sad people who believe in that dopey science stuff. Let them shout and sing the praises of unrestricted living. But COVID-19 has no respect for personal belief, hype about your God-given rights or desire to do whatever you want, when and how you want. It will just march relentlessly through the ranks, silencing one after the other. A friend referred to it as thinning the stupid herd. I’d call it survival of the fittest.