Apr 22, 2020

Self-Isolation Day 32 (mostly a rant, so read on at your own discretion)

Before shit really hit the fan, people were telling us not to wear masks. For god's sake, DON'T wear a mask, they said. In a facebook post, I commented to one of my nurse friends who advised me not to, "Don't worry, I won't wear one of those stupid masks." Now we can't go out in public without one. For god's sake, WEAR A MASK, they say. Why is it imperative that I wear a mask now, but imperative that I not wear a mask a month ago? It just makes sense, then and now, to wear a mask if you are going to potentially cough or sneeze or breathe or speak moistly around others when dealing with a respiratory virus. 

If grocery store cashiers washed their hands between every customer, their hands would fall off. Well, maybe not fall off, but they would develop cracks so painful they would have to take time off from work. (I know this from my magazine experience. I washed my hands so often dealing with all that printed matter that the tips of my fingers split open. Cracked, bloody fingertips probably aren't overly hygienic; plus, they fucking hurt.) Also, I don't understand how you think this would be feasible. Should they run off to the bathroom between customers? Or bring in those foot-pump hand wash stations they use at outdoor concerts? Wearing gloves, even if they never take them off, means they probably aren't sticking their fingers in their eyes or noses or mouths and then rubbing their COVID all over your tomatoes. Wash your own damn shit when you get home.

I don't entirely understand why making a racket has become a sign of appreciation. I mean, I personally can't think of anything lovelier than the sound of a bunch of people screaming and banging pots and pans together, but maybe you could play on recorders or triangles instead? Maybe rattle some windchimes? And if I was a doctor and I suddenly heard a thousand sirens blaring outside the hospital walls, I wouldn't think, "Ah, they love me. They really love me!", I would think, "Jesus fucking Christ, what now? Was there a 40-car pile-up or a tornado or something?" How about we all sing "For you are jolly good fellows" instead? (Lyrics slightly altered for inclusivity.)

Hmm, what else?

If you are an adult who had a full-time job before the shutdown, quit complaining that government assistance isn't happening on YOUR timeline. If you are of able body and mind, it's YOUR responsibility to take care of yourself and at least make sure that you have enough money in the bank to support yourself for a couple of months in case something bad happens to you. If you had money to spend on beer and clothes and makeup and Starbucks and bobblehead toys and a new cell phone and now find yourself struggling, you get no sympathy from me. (Obviously people making minimum wage, single parents, people with disabilities, etc. are exempt from my scorn.) We are lucky we live in a country that is pulling billions of dollars from god-knows-where to help people who really need the help. And if you meet the requirements for the money but don't really need it, don't take it, okay?

Finally, cut the post office workers some slack already. Think of the increase in package volume they are suddenly dealing with as everyone orders things they would ordinarily have gone to the mall for. Will you die if you don't get your Amazon order in 2-7 days, or will you be slightly inconvenienced and have to reread some old books or rewatch a movie you already own? Maybe think about how much you really need those things and wait until this is over before ordering anything to help lessen the load on those workers. And if you must order something (I do appreciate the benefits of retail therapy), please don't bitch about how long it takes to arrive at your door.

This is a tough time. Everything is frustrating. The isolation, the helplessness, the time to do nothing but sit around and wait (if you aren't working), being overworked and underappreciated (if you are working), the contradictory information, the conspiracy theorists (I'm going to save this nugget for another blog), the people jeopardizing the lives of others because they want to uphold their god-given right to go recreational fishing, pandemic be damned.

Maybe it's time to relearn the fine art of patience.