The Covid virus forced all of us to adopt new practices with respect to hygiene and social distancing to ensure we minimize the spread. At the height of the pandemic most resorted to wearing facial masks for even the simplest outing, you just couldn’t be too careful.  Now, despite the fact that this virus is currently under control in our province many businesses still, understandably, require the use of facial masks and very detailed screening; dental offices, hair salons, etc, where close facial contact is unavoidable, and this makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is the blatant fearmongering of those who clearly don’t know when to employ a sense of reason.

A friend was grocery shopping earlier this week and while browsing the shelves of food, a woman behind her sneezed. She did so in her sleeve and she was a good 10 feet behind. My friend says she was startled, not by the sneeze, but by the reaction of another woman ahead of her. The woman literally jumped back and pressed her back up against the shelves, as though lining up for a firing squad, a look of panic on her face. Do you think this reaction is just a tad over the top? What did she think would happen,,,,that the impact of the sneeze would blow her head off? For God’s sake, people sneeze, and we are at the height of allergy season. Could it be this panic-stricken victim is a prime candidate for curbside pick-up or home delivery?

Another friend said she inadvertently went down the ‘wrong way’ in the grocery aisle and was the recipient of several dirty looks. You know, this whole roadmap maze thing in grocery stores is new to all of us, and she’s not the first to ‘take a wrong turn’. I’ve done that myself and I hardly think it fair to condemn those of us who are still getting used to all the new rules.

I can’t help but think people are over-reacting. Yes, we need to be careful. We need to adopt new routines for contact and cleanliness, but we also need to be realistic. I’m puzzled by the lone driver who’s wearing a mask. He’s the only one in the vehicle and all the windows are closed. What’s he protecting himself from?

And I’m stunned every time I see someone out walking, alone or with a pet, and they’re wearing a face mask. There’s not a living sole in sight,,,why would they need a mask? Surely they can’t think that inhaling fresh air outdoors is lethal, and if they do, they’re beyond paranoid and shouldn’t be venturing out at all. What is wrong with these people? Have they no common sense?

Medical experts have made it clear face masks will not prevent you from getting the virus, they will simply protect others from your germs, whatever they are, i.e. if you aren’t sick you’ve nothing to spread to another. The donning of a face mask is recommended in many public places but is not mandatory. I have not been ill so I am not likely to spread anything to anyone else, so at the moment, I do not feel the need to wear a mask. That said, I always carry one with me so that should I find myself in a situation that requires one, I’ll be ready. I will not wear a mask when walking alone outdoors, and I certainly won’t wear one when driving alone in my car. That just doesn’t make sense for me but I will respect another’s choice in these situations because while it may be puzzling, it hurts no one. It’s just odd.

What I will not accept is the ridiculous over-reactions of those who make it their mission to target the rest of us in society who exercise a little common sense. We are being careful. We are mindful of others and committed to distancing, and should this dreadful virus spike again we will all exercise extreme measures as warranted but we will also act with a rational mind and a level head. Get real already.

The ‘second wave’ of this virus is predicted to hit in the fall, in line with regular flu season, and given that the symptoms are similar, I can’t imagine how these fear mongers will react then. (They’ve probably already ordered their cosmonaut suit.) I pray the predictions for fall are wrong. And I pray every day that a vaccine is developed, but until such time I will continue to practice caution in my daily routines to ensure I protect myself and others, however, I will also keep a level head because panicking will only lead to irrational behaviour and we already have enough of that in society without the pandemic.


One thought on “Keep a level head

  1. So well said, Emily. Yours is a voice of reason and common sense in this time of unreasonable paranoia. If we meet on the street, we’ll be able to recognize each other because I do not wear a face mask in God’s good outdoors either.


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