Last month, I did an editorial entitled “I Wear a Mask; Do You?”
This month, I am not going to be so polite.
If you have not started yet, start today.
Wear a freaking mask.
If it makes it easier for you, don’t call it a mask.
Call it simply a cloth face covering, one that helps prevent you or anyone else who has the COVID-19 virus from spreading it to others.
When religiously used in public settings, cloth face coverings can and do reduce the spread of the virus.
This is not random speculation. It is documented science.
Just because you close the door on reality does not mean it won’t sneak in through the window.
Cloth face coverings are actual barriers that prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people. There are now even designer ones on Amazon. Go make a fashion statement.
Wearing a covering in South Florida provides source control in a state where things are out of control.
We are human beings. We cough, we sneeze, and talk loudly. We raise our voices in cheer and song, anger and passion.
As I write this column, on July 15 hospitalizations in Florida are up 56%, ICU’s 67%, and ventilator use 92%, for just the past 14 days. No need for me to record the number of deaths today, because a week or two down the road, the numbers will be surpassed, eclipsed by higher tolls.
But lives and loved ones will have been lost, and that toll can’t be measured by numbers alone.
We have never lived through a pandemic. Dare I say, many of us will not. This is an enemy out there you cannot see, a spreading plague that knows no political parties, constitutional rights, or geographic boundaries.
Refusing to wear a mask is not a civil rights issue anymore. It is a civic duty you assume to protect yourself, your neighbor, and anyone you meet with a chance or planned encounter.
There are a thousand places in our lives where we give way for the communal good. Respect for others is a fundamental premise of our lives.
The rights we all share in a free society must sometimes give way to the good of the community.
This is one of those times.
That is why we require cars to stop at red lights.
It is why we have as a society decided you can’t smoke on an airplane anymore.
If you own a car, paint it any color you want. Post a bumper sticker with any logo you like. That’s up to you. But when you take that car on the road at night, you turn on the headlights. You buckle your seat belt. Or you get a ticket. There are also speed limits and stop signs.
Our laws do not impose these inconveniences to restrict your liberties. We do it to protect other people’s lives besides your own.
These past few months, our nation has not responded well to the pandemic. We have failed miserably and it is costing us incredibly. The death toll of over 135,000 speaks for itself.
Tragically, we have been led by a president and an administration ignoring science and reason, logic and real numbers.
Yesterday, the president’s former personal physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, won the Republican nomination for a congressional seat in Texas.
He proceeded to then announce that he does not wear a mask often, stating “it should be a matter of personal choice.” This man is a physician. How dare he? Don’t you think he abides by the rules of a hospital requiring him to sterilize instruments before you use them? He should know better.
Earlier today, another Republican legislator in Florida, Anthony Sabatini, bragged live on CNN how well the state is handling the virus. A moron of immense magnitude, he is, matched only by the Mickey Mouse governor who has just opened Disney World.
Sabatini spoke live on CNN as 54 hospitals ICU’s are filled in this state, and 45 more are at above 90% capacity. He said this with 4,500 deaths in this state from the coronavirus. There are none so blind as those who will not see.
With no leadership from the White House, Americans are enduring a pandemic of ignorance as well. We must ignore the president and his band of delusional followers and sycophants. Listen to the scientists instead. Listen to Dr. Fauci.
Society has a new speed limit. It is called the coronavirus.
We are living under new rules no one has ever dealt with within our lifetimes. We must adapt, change, and compromise. We must do something Americans are not used to doing. We must sacrifice.
We are gay. We know how to survive, to buck the government and its tide of toxicity, its shores of indifference. We have met tragedy before, and beat it back. Together. Alone. By ourselves.
Let's show others how.
Let’s do as we have before.
Wear a freaking mask.
It's one small curtain on your face, one giant set of drapes for mankind.