OPINION: Try thinking of everyone around you as Granny


I have tried to be pleasant and understanding about this.

I have waited for months to see how the governor’s executive orders would be followed and enforced, or ignored and disdained.

Now, as they say, I’m over it.

I know some readers don’t want to get this message, but here it is anyway:

If you are among other people in a public indoor space, PUT ON A FACE MASK!

I know what you might be thinking.

“This virus stuff is a hoax.” NO. C’mon. You know it’s not a hoax. Every day that passes, the likelihood that you are personally acquainted with someone who caught COVID-19 increases.

“There aren’t enough cases here to worry about it.” How do you know that? Have you been tested? Members of your household? Your co-workers? Your neighbors? If any of these folks have not been tested, they might be carrying COVID-19 in their respiratory systems. You simply don’t know until you know.

“I don’t feel sick.” Re-read the response above, and add this: The vast majority of infectious disease experts agree that LOTS of people are carrying the COVID-19 virus without knowing it and without feeling any symptoms. If that’s you, you might become sick or you might not. You simply don’t know until you know!

“Those masks don’t really work.” Well . . . we can argue all day about the merits or downsides of various face coverings. Also, we can or should be able to agree on this: Wearing some kind of face covering provides more protection that not wearing anything.

“Wearing a mask won’t keep me from getting sick.” True.

But that’s not the point.

Experts — including several of President Trump’s medical advisors — urge people to wear masks to reduce the amount of our OWN germs that emerge from our mouths and could make someone else sick.

So imagine if everyone in the grocery store or the convenience store is wearing a mask. For me, it means my blood pressure immediately drops a few notches.

“I can’t breathe in a mask.” I’m certain that’s true of a segment of the population with respiratory problems. I don’t believe for a minute that it’s true of, for example, many local young adults who appear to be quite healthy and vigorous and seem to believe they are bulletproof and immortal.

“You can’t make me wear a mask.” That might be true, depending on how serious the commonwealth of Virginia gets about enforcement.

But is it really so important to let all your hot air out that you are daring someone to make you wear a mask?

“Telling me to wear a mask violates my rights as a citizen of the United States.” Well . . . philosophically, that may be true.

Legally? Not so much. Just this week, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced that he has now successfully defended the mask requirement against at least 12 court challenges.

Morally? How about this: As a citizen, I have a right to not worry that all the unmasked people wandering around near me in the store will infect me with molecules of virus spewing out of their mouths. Your refusal to wear a mask violates my right to be that much closer to healthy.

If you’re still not convinced, think of it this way:

Most readers, I would hope, have or had at least one granny who is/was precious to them. Granny is loving, kind and generous. She is a jewel in her community and a blessing to her family.

Granny also is struggling with health problems. Remember when everybody had to wear a mask visiting her in the hospital so that her delicate immune system wouldn’t become compromised by the family’s germs?

Now: Every time you set foot within a public indoor space, imagine that every other human being around you is Granny.