I'm wearing my mask for you, not me
I admire the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky from Harvard. She is following science, and science says there is no reason for me to wear a mask.
My chance of developing a case of COVID-19 serious enough to put me in the hospital is basically zero. I can't say that for anything else in life.
But I'm still supposed to wear my mask until June 15, as if the danger will suddenly disappear.
I'm wearing my mask in the hopes that all the knuckleheads streaming to Las Vegas and parties and the like will decide that they, too, should get vaccinated by June 15, even though they have already stopped wearing their masks except in the market -- if they ever did.
The pace of vaccinations has slowed. The big vaccination sites are closing. Virtually everyone in my neighborhood has been vaccinated, except for our homeless neighbors, many of whom reportedly want neither the vaccine nor a hotel room. That is not the case in many neighborhoods of Los Angeles.
The science behind the change in the mask advice is based on the assumption, which should surely be allowed, that people act rationally.
Rational people don't need the government to force them to get a vaccine. Rational people don't want to die or end up with badly damaged lungs. Rational people were waiting three hours at Dodger Stadium and were grateful for the chance to do so. We should not need a law for people to do what is in their own best interest.
The law is for the "bad man." Oliver Wendell Holmes said that. Of course, not everyone has three hours to spare. OK, they do; you make time for what matters. But let's assume they don't have bus fare. They don't need it. Mobile vaccine units can come to their street or their house. They are parked in convenient locations in parts of town where vaccination rates are lower (how's that for a politically correct way to say Hispanic and Black neighborhoods?). Local pharmacies are stocked with vaccines and have extended hours. There are no more lines, no more appointments. Where are all the people who should be here and not in Las Vegas?
The media, desperate to explain the inexplicable behavior of many of our neighbors, has turned to studies and experts and interviews on the street. Some people are worried about the shot, when they should be worried about COVID. Some people claim they are too busy, except they will find time to party hardy this weekend. Some people are worried about the cost (nothing) or fear U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (which isn't at the sites). Many people can only be described as stupid, having no reason at all except laziness and inherent insolence.
They will be risking their lives this weekend.
For the last year, I've worried that careless young people and essential workers were bringing the virus home to their vulnerable parents and grandparents. I can only hope that the parents and grandparents who survived their children's risky business have now been vaccinated and are safe from it.
Because we all know what the pictures are going to look like this weekend: crowded water parks and river rides, packed beaches, endless theme park lines, America going back to NORMAL on overdrive. And every one of them will be vaccinated, right?
There is a lot less virus in the air than there used to be. There are a lot fewer sick people, and there's a lot better testing. That means behavior that would have contributed to a significant spike might not result in as much illness as it would have months ago.
Or maybe it will. More contagious variants, you know. I certainly wouldn't bet my life on the rest of the herd. Why bet yours?
Have a safe and healthy Memorial Day. We all need it. We may even deserve it. God bless.
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