Virginia Flag. Coronavirus Covid 19 In U.s. State. Medical Mask Isolate On A Black Background. Face

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Dear Beautiful Rappahannock, if you choose to read and consider, I thank you.

We went up one million diagnosed cases of coronavirus within about the last week and a half. It took more than three months to get to the first one million when this COVID-19 pandemic started. 

Early on it was Portland that got walloped; also during this time the BLM [Black Lives Matter] demonstrations (and riots) were also happening. 

I remember watching the news and just feeling so incredibly thankful I wasn’t there. I felt so bad for the peaceful protesters, and more so the police who had to deal with the chaos when violence erupted. I didn’t feel sorry for the people bringing the violence, police or civilians. 

I felt terrible for the health care workers because they didn’t have the necessary PPE or equipment (ventilators) yet to get through all the sick people; obviously this thing wasn’t expected. I think our government hustled as fast as it could and it got a whole lot better; this is again a big worry because of the significant leap in cases.

Right now, mostly rural areas to the west of us are having the spikes in numbers. We are so lucky to live where we do!

This new wave has increased by a million people in one week. We had 10 million documented cases and now we’re into 11 million. This is the second wave as the cold weather comes on — exactly what was discussed and worried about over the summer.

Even if the odds are very slim and God forbid you will get it; or if you do, you’ll be fine. What if you did and worst-case scenario you passed it on to the person you love the very most in the world? Is this a risk you should actually take?

No! Have you ever been wrong about something before? I have, plenty of times, this isn’t a risk I’m choosing to take.

I understand that the percentage of death or serious illness is low compared to the actual number of people who contracted the virus. But think about it, it’s still a whole lot of people and it’s growing fast right now. From the very base of my brain and soul I’m telling you, this isn’t the regular flu.

This is how you practice empathy… Go to your quiet place and really imagine if you, or someone in your family, your child, or your best friend’s family and kids, what if it actually did hit this close to home? Imagine the actual pain of actually losing this person. If the virus gets bad, your loved one is possibly dying in the hospital and they are all alone because of quarantine. Total disaster.

We all know that having someone we love pass away too soon is a brutal, terrible, painful feeling. The pain-in-the-butt factor of wearing a mask doesn’t even compare. 

Say, in ordinary times, your grandmother was sick in the hospital and for family to visit they had to wear masks around her. Anyone who refused to do this would be laughed out of the room. 

I really dislike the masks. I’ve never seen anyone say they do like them. The only aspect that’s agreeable to me at all is the feeling that I’m in disguise. I like that a lot. 

I have pretty serious panic attacks, especially in stores. I start to shake on my way in, I often get hot and turn bright red, start sweating, get dizzy and nauseous, by the time I get out of there I’m a hot mess, lol. The mask makes this much, much worse, but I still do it. 

I consider wearing a mask to be respectful towards other people who 1) are serving you in some way, (think about how many people your retail workers see a day); and 2) people who may have, or have had, sick friends or family. I’m also quite keen to not catch it myself.

I’m high risk, it’s completely my own fault and unfortunately I have to own that. People say that anyone who’s healthy either won’t get it, or if they do they won’t have symptoms (not always true). And if you’re high risk stay home and isolate if it’s an issue (I do), however these days when I can get some work I absolutely have to take it, so it is what it is.

I do agree with people that wearing masks could actually make some people sick, by holding in cold germs, et al. But I would encourage you to understand that this is a small price to pay to show your neighbors that you have compassion and good manners, you have respect for fellow humans whether you agree with everything they think or do or not. 

I don’t want another lockdown, who does? People we care about are losing or coming darn close to losing their businesses. 

I don’t expect that people will wear masks all the time. I’ve taken mine off around friends, too. But I wear it absolutely all the time in public. The masks will slow it down, while hopefully this vaccine gets put into production and circulated around the country. This will take a little time.

This is actually when we should be acting as sheep, yet in the herd mentality way, because if we cooperate this will end a heck of a lot faster than if we don’t. 

This issue shouldn’t be about my/your constitutional rights. It should be having to do with simply playing it safe and helping your fellow man on this one. 

Common sense dictates, like it or not, that masks help us not spread germs. The ‘masks don’t work’ argument doesn’t sit well with me; even if they work just a little it’s worth saving someone else’s life.

— The writer lives in Flint Hill.

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