Posted on my Facebook earlier…
Public service announcement: We all trust different sources and accordingly believe different things about masks, the severe implications of Covid, etc. My personal belief, based on the sources I follow and trust, is that masks do help somewhat. So does staying outdoors or at home as much as possible. Or spaces with open doors and windows.
My request, as a person who is in multiple high-risk categories — as well as serving clients who are in multiple high-risk categories — is that you “live and let live” when it comes to seeing me or any other person wearing a hygiene mask.￼
I don’t harass people who are not wearing masks. Even though when I enter a room full of people not wearing masks, I feel very alarmed. It feels like an unnecessary risk, according to what I believe based on the sources I trust.
Another thing that feels like an unnecessary risk is people/groups not being willing to meet outdoors, in circumstances when meeting outdoors is possible.￼ Yes it can be logistically inconvenient at times, but surely logistical inconvenience pales in comparison with things like long Covid. ￼
Along the same lines, indoor meetings feel like an unnecessary risk. And you will be seeing a lot less of me in indoor gatherings, especially where nobody else is wearing a mask.￼ If I had my way we would all be meeting outdoors as much as possible. But I do not; that is not up for me to decide. What is up to me to decide is how I choose to mitigate my risk.
Last night I gave into peer pressure and I absolutely am disgusted with myself for taking off my mask at an indoor meeting.
An indoor meeting that I really did not need to be at — I could have listened online, and given my input by email, phone, or text. Or even postal mail! One very steady civic activist I know actually sends paper letters to local government on a regular basis. Yes, as humans, we build trust by seeing each other face-to-face. But there are ways to arrange that in a safe manner. We can get face-time with each other out in the community at outdoor events, and via serendipitous encounters on the street. You would be very very surprised to know how well this can work. If you have not yet experienced it, give it a try.
FINALLY: This is not a post inviting any kind of debate or discussion about the efficacy of masks, social distancing, staying outdoors instead of indoors etc. Any such comments will be deleted. You have a right to your beliefs but this is not the post to debate it.
• CDC: Categories of people at higher risk for severe Covid symptoms (mayoclinic.org). They actually list mental health conditions such as depression as one risk factor; I had not noticed that before but I had myself come to suspect that such might be the case.