In New York, we are currently on a “Pause.” That means non-essential businesses must have their employees work from home, and that some services and luxuries must remain closed – all to stop the spread of COVID-19b from person to person. The most recent deadline, as set via executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo, was originally May 15. However, He recently extended the “Pause” to last until June 6.
Which has caused some people to completely freak out. Oh, my civil liberties are ruined. Oh, I can’t get a haircut or a manicure. Oh, I can’t go bowling. Waah, waaaa…
Okay, let’s get a couple of things cleared up here.
Governor Cuomo extended the “Pause” to last until June 6, but he left the door open for some non-essential businesses to open – so long as they follow strict social distancing guidelines and procedures. So some businesses, especially in areas where the COVID-19 infections have shown a downward slope, may open.
If you’ve seen what’s happened recently in states like Iowa and Georgia, opening too soon has caused new COVID-19 hotspots and outbreaks. We could seriously undo all the good we’ve currently done. I’m sorry, but I’m not playing Russian Roulette with my health. Or with the health of those I love. No freakin’ way.
Example. Yesterday, I donated the knee scooter from my ankle injury to a good friend who is currently recovering from a broken leg. I put on a face mask, then got in my car and drove to the hill towns. I coordinated with my friend that I would drop off the knee scooter on her porch, which I did. Then I stopped somewhere for gasoline (it’s $2/gallon now?), washed my hands immediately after using the gas pump, then drove home.
Oh, and yes, I did drive in my car with my face mask on. And for all of you who are chuckling at me about wearing a face mask inside my car, here’s a good reason why. If COVID-19 was on the gas pump, or if it was on the gas station’s credit card reader, I could still have COVID-19 on my fingertips if I touched those surfaces. And driving with the mask on keeps me from touching my nose or my face. Even if I do keep my hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel.
And haircuts? So what if my hair is long? Doesn’t bother me a bit.
This isn’t an argument about civil rights or liberties. This is an argument for safety. We can NOT risk our lives – or the lives of those we love – where we think we’re invincible. There are people who feel that wearing a mask in these times is a sign of weakness or cowardice. It’s not. It’s a sign of safety and preparedness and love.
I mean, I want my normal routines to return. But I know they can’t. Not right now. And it’s dangerous to try to force them to return. And anyone who claims that the current “Pause” is a violation of their civil liberties is completely wrong in their argument.
Let’s put it this way. Anne Frank and her family, spent two years hidden in an attic. Millions of Britons stayed huddled in basements during the Blitz. We need to do the same. We need to be smart.
Trust me, at this point if I go outside for any reason – even if it’s by myself, with no one around – I’m going to be so masked up, Tonto will hand me a silver bullet.
Because I don’t want to catch COVID-19.
I don’t want to die from COVID-19.
And even if I were to survive COVID-19, I don’t want to pass the disease on to anybody else.
So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to stay hunkered down for the time being.
That’s exercising my civil liberties. The right to protect myself from an insidious, vicious killer.
And please don’t make me have to choose friendships over safety.
You might not like my choice.