Coronavirus Part 2, Day 10- Face Masks and Public Health Free Riders

In the kitchen, (almost) always. Photo credit: Nicholas

I am sitting in my living room, Nick is showing Steve his Fortnite streaming video, which is to say he’s watching a recording of Nick playing Fortnite. I have just returned from taking the kids to Walgreens for a candy run where I picked out gummy bears and sour patch kids. I’m reminded of the gummy products in Guatemala. They came in odd shapes like spiders, and the pieces were too large, too chewy, and virtually flavorless. I usually couldn’t make it through a whole bag before getting tired of them, but I would still try. If I was in the mood for something salty, I would instead get a bag of chips by the ‘Diana’ chip company.

In the snack isles there were rows and rows of ‘Diana’ products. Apparently, the ‘Diana’ company in Guatemala is like Frito Lays in the U.S. For me, the other chip brands didn’t stand a chance. How could I resist a bag of chips with my name on it?

Yesterday, Penny and I went to Hobby Lobby to buy a frame for my promotion warrant. Now that the stay-home order has been lifted in Texas, people are going about their business with newfound habits which include face masks, hand sanitizer, and giving others a wide berth to move around.

Hobby Lobby was not busy, but it usually isn’t on a Monday at 2pm. Most people wore face masks, but I counted at least four shoppers who rolled into Hobby Lobby exposing the rest of us to their Coronavirus infected carbon dioxide.

Investopedia says the free rider problem is the burden on a shared resource that is created by its use by people who aren’t paying their fair share. In other words, it’s people placing a burden on Coronavirus-free public spaces just by being there, without doing their fair share to keep their germs to themselves, but reaping the benefits of everyone else wearing their face masks and washing their hands. Oh, you thought you were wearing a face mask for your own protection? This meme explains things better than I could.

The Face Mask Pee Meme. This circulated around the medical community, so it’s legit.

We’ve seen a lot of public health free riders during this Coronavirus thing. Remember all those millennials traveling the world on dirt cheap airfare and empty flights? Since the rest of us canceled our plans (okay fine I did consider still going to the Grand Canyon), they were free to roam and #wanderlust with relatively less exposure than they would have previously gotten. I read a blog post by a lady in the UK who says people there are downright hostile, responding to public health free riders with something akin to road rage. I don’t think we’re at that point in the U.S.,but still.

Just wear your face mask, people. Even if you feel a silly when you do.

Hobby Lobby

Coronavirus Day 22- Virtual Drill

Penny, jumping on the couch

The kids are on the balcony up to something. I can hear them dragging around fold up tables and other furniture for a reason that is at best illogical (a pool party?). I’m at my spot on the front porch with Poppy. Steve is syncing a mini bluetooth speaker so we can listen to the first chapter of his audio book, Hawaii, by James A. Michener. I’m not familiar with anything James A. Michener, so this will be cool.

The weather today is nice, cool and overcast. It rained all day yesterday which made for a dreary, depressing day in social isolation. I sequestered myself all day for my virtual drill, and I now have empathy for Steve and everyone else who has to work with kids rattling around a short distance away. I had only one conference call during which I held a ten minute Q&A about my seven-month long, complicated mobilization. Sticking to just the wave tops proved hard to do. And it was at this moment when Penny decided to bang on the bathroom door where I was hiding to block out the noise.

Just like in normal life, in social isolation life we alternate good days with bad. Maybe after dinner we’ll play Monopoly Deal while listening to the Merle Haggard station. Which is exactly what we did last night, and earlier today. And I guess that’s just fine.

Poppy, sniffing the wind.