More random thoughts from the Wear Your Mask front. Because the struggle is real and continues.
First, wear a mask. Seriously, if it's something you have to have to get into a Walmart, it's probably something you have to have.
Places you can go if you wear a mask:
• Museums -- You may not understand the art, but you can go see it.
• Malls -- I mean, hypothetically, at least. I've been told there are people who want to go to a mall. While I'm not one of them, at this point, it would be nice to know the option was available. Sort of like sushi. No, but thanks for offering.
• Coffee shops -- Just think, if you wear a mask, you can stand idly while reading your phone and waiting for your double-mocha frappe-whatever with a whip, just like you used to. And, just like before, it will be served by a person who has never, ever gotten through an airport metal detector without having to be wanded. I'm not judging. I'm just observing.
• Speaking of airports ... airports -- To get on actual airplanes and go somewhere. OK, not Europe or basically anywhere else in the world, but places. I mean, at this point, I'd just like to go stand by the ticket counter and be told repeatedly not to take a bag from a stranger. As if anyone actually had to be told that.
• Stores -- See "malls." I mean, sure. Good to know you can. Probably won't unless under duress, but ...
• Anywhere -- Just about anywhere. Any place in the wide, wide world (that will take us: didn't really used to have those qualifiers, but these are strange times we live in) can be your destination if we'll all just wear masks. Seems simple enough.
Since my entertainment options these days include reflexively reading the news, I couldn't help but notice that Canada and the United States have decided that, for the time being, they're going to extend their decision to close the border between the two countries to all but essential traffic.
Now, I realize these things are certainly subject to change (see California) and dependent on several factors (one of which is that there are large portions of Canada that have more moose than people, which appears to significantly decrease the risk of infection. Or pizza delivery). But it does seem like our neighbors to the North have got this whole pandemic thing largely -- or at least better -- under control.
That comment that should have them knocking on wood. Which, again, they have more of than people.
So, this "mutual decision" thing sounds a lot more like when a couple decides to "see other people." May turn out to be a good thing for both of them, but at the moment, it's likely one person was more excited about the idea than the other.
As several commentators have noted, at this point, Canada must feel like it's living in the apartment above a meth lab.
People who wear masks on a regular basis in their lives seem to be doing just fine, thank you.
Doctors. Nurses. Dentists.
The Phantom of the Opera and the Mandalorian (covering all my cultural bases here).
Catchers and hockey goalies.
I mean, if it's good enough for heart surgeons and Yadier Molina, it's good enough for me.
I've made this point before and I'll make it again: 99.99999% of the time, wearing a seat belt does absolutely no good. I mean, if you're not in an accident, you didn't need it.
It only has to work one time. And you never know when that time will be. Sort of like a mask.
It's hard to measure the impacts of things that didn't go horribly wrong.
Finally, as I have noted before, the performance of Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson appears to be one of the few bright spots from elected officials during this whole mess.
And, as of Thursday, it looks like he's at it again. His announcement mandating the wearing of masks in public (with noted exceptions) continues an alarming trend of elected officials using advice from doctors and health care professionals to make decisions that are in the best interest of the residents of their state. Unfortunately, that appears to be the exception rather than the rule.
Let's hope we can look forward to a lot more positive trends like that in the future.
Gary Smith is a recovering journalist living in Rogers.