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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Another Day, Another Overlook, Another Rant.

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such moments, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready."  Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

I don't get it, it's such a small, easy thing to do. So no, guess I don't understand the "Anti-Masker" movement. 

There's an old corporate saying, that shit rolls downhill from the asshole at the top. Thus, our increasingly whacko President refuses to set a principled example by donning a mask in public. It leads one to believe that he must think it doesn't work. But always consider the source, this from the same guy who told us the C virus was no big deal...that we've got it under control.  

It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: When one needs honest information about science and medical studies (or anything, for that matter) they shouldn't be looking to Facebook for answers. My first stop is the Mayo Clinic's website. They have built a solid reputation for accurate, unbiased reporting on disease and treatment...researched based information we can rely on. 

Where's the harm? Why not cut up a t-shirt or fetch an old bandana to wear when going to a store or where groups of people gather...especially when they are not wearing masks? As I sat in the car this week, waiting in the grocery "Pick Up" section at Walmart (why isn't EVERYONE using this free, No Contact grocery shopping app? Talk about reducing exposure) less than one third of the people passing into and out of Walmart were neither masked nor gloved, including families with children. 

To be clear, the main purpose of wearing a mask is to reduce the distance aerosolized droplets travel as a result of a cough or sneeze from an un-symptomatic COVID Virus carrier. One of the main complicating factors about COVID is how highly contagious it is. Perhaps more importantly, another unfortunate factor is that it can take up to three weeks for symptoms to develop. It doesn't take a rocket scientist with a degree in medicine to understand how and why this virus is so easily transmitted when carriers have yet to develop symptoms and feel just fine...good enough, in fact, to go shopping/dinning/whatever...and then, un-knowningly, shares the virus with people in close proximity or by leaving it on things they touch. 

To be clear, again, the virus would still be around even if everyone wore masks and gloves. But what scientific studies are now revealing is, the more people who wear them, the flatter the "curve," and the sooner we can resume life as we knew it before 2020

You remember, those days, right, when we could gather in close proximity over a buffet of wings and mugs of beer and cheer for our favorite college or pro football/baseball/basketball/soccer/whatever team on tv? Or watch a favorite game-show/reality-show/American Idol/The Voice/Golf/American Ninja Worrier/whatever, instead of "Classic Reruns?" 

There is a growing movement of sorts lately, where more and more people resist wearing masks and gloves. Then, to make matters worse, they gather close together unprotected in demonstrations against states that are trying to exercise caution instead of just throwing open the "doors" and hoping for the best.  I, for one, will be thrilled to bear the slight inconvenience of  wearing a mask and gloves if it allows me to rejoin with friends and family at a favorite pub...have a drink, order a nice meal, and help our local businesses and their employees get back to making a living. They have probably sacrificed and suffered and worried the most throughout this unexpected virus ordeal, and deserve a shot at getting back on their feet, both financially and with safety. 

Imagine how it would feel if you found out it was you who unknowingly passed the virus to a waiter/waitress, and put them out of work again for weeks...possibly fighting for their lives?  And, more importantly, what if they didn't survive do to your selfish behavior? 

We all long for those pre-pandemic days, times when we could get on a plane without giving thought to catching a highly contagious virus that might take our life, or being worried about being quarantined somewhere far from home...wondering how many ventilators they have? 

Why are so many people suddenly rising up, resisting, protesting, refuting and refusing common sense behavior during a pandemic...choosing self-centered, narrow-minded and politically set-in-their-world-view rut that they are not willing to risk the embarrassment/political incorrectness/whatever? of putting on a mask? 

To you I say this: What if you are wrong? What if masks do help, even a little bit, to shorten the time it takes to get back to what we once had, and, in retrospect, took for granted...a more normal life

Do you REALLY think your gun or civil rights are being threatened by a few extra rules during a world-wide pandemic? Seriously? Enough that you march in the streets, armed to the teeth, no less? Me thinks you are misguided, or, perhaps, "mislead" is a better word.

We are fast becoming a country divided instead of united. If we can't agree now on whether or not to don a mask, how will we, when we really need to, ever agree on anything ever again? It's a recipe for a disaster, and when it happens, it will be far worse than this pandemic that temporarily cramps your lifestyle.        

Michelle, a friend of Ruthie's, joined me and the Hiker Babes for a punishing grind up to a viewpoint ledge that overlooks Lovely Ouray (Alpine Overlook). Michelle has a couple shops on Main Street Ouray—The Blue Pear and Bloom—so be sure to check them out when you're in town.

I stepped off at my usual expeditious pace...one, to experience the forest in solitude, and two, to gain a little training effect for the summer senior olympic games with Pal Leon, should they not be cancelled like everything else.

Michelle, much to my surprise, stayed right on my heels. "Well," I mis-thought, "She'll drop back soon enough." 

I pushed a little harder, but she kept pace. Plus, she didn't seem to be breathing near as hard as I was. Hmmm. A "ringer."

We engaged in banal chat as we climbed, which served to further zap my O2 levels, but didn't seem to bother her in the least. I gave her the short version of my life's story (about a mile's worth, anyway) then listened to her story. 

It turns out Michelle is a ski instructor during the off-season. Ah ha! Skiing at 12,000 plus feet for 5 months a year, legs fighting gravity? No wonder she's in such great shape. 

"Feel free to pass," I offered, almost hoping she would so I could back off. It turned out this was her first "altitude hike" of the year.  
Yep. A "ringer." I was truly humbled, yet motivated. :)


  1. You have expressed my frustration and anger perfectly. We live in a world of such self centered people who only want whatever they want. Nobody else matters. I wear a mask.

  2. You said it so well. On a less contentious topic, it looks as if there's a fair bit of snow-free terrain!

  3. It goes well beyond Trump not wearing a mask. It's not that he doesn't set a good example in that regard. He sets the worst example in all respects to the response to the virus. He called it a hoax,he delayed, he denied, he hampered the response by governors, he encouraged the re-open protest which contradicted his own administrations guidelines. He failed in every way that most of us could imagine and now 10s of thousands have died in the country because of it.

    On March 16, South Korea had 8300 cases and the U.S. had 4500. Today we have almost 1,700,000 and South Korea has just over 11,000. Granted SK has only 51 million people but the difference in cases is far greater than 7 times, in fact, it is great than a 100 times the number. His willful negligence is criminal. There is a name for what Trump is doing, democide (the murder of any person or people by their government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder).


  4. Orange idiot,Pence ,McConell,and Rand Paul who contracted the virus are great examples of leadership !

  5. The Golden Idiot tries to incite crowds against the Governors that are trying to keep them safe.

    It's about time.

  6. Mask or mo mask "...the sooner we can resume life as we knew it before 2020" is not going to happen. We are not going to resume life as we knew it. Your life has changed, there is no going back.

    There was no going back after the Black Death of the 1300s the world changed. We are in a period of change again that has been ongoing now for quite some time and the Coronavirus is just a catalyst to speed it up.

    1. I see your point...change is a constant. Perhaps I over simplified/romanticized pre-pandemic days. The heart sometimes wins control of my pen...

    2. In many respects we are very much where we were in the 1920's business rules our government which is run by Republicans. Inequality in income was at a peak and we had come out of the worst pandemic in history. What's the old saying, "History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes"


  7. Just hours after this post went up...a mask article from CNN:
    (CNN) White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said Sunday that there is "clear scientific evidence" that masks work -- adding that she assumes President Donald Trump is able to keep six feet of distance "in a majority of cases" when pressed on whether he should wear one.

    "What we have said to people is there is clear scientific evidence now, by all the droplet experiments that happened, and that others have done, to show that a mask does prevent droplets from reaching others," Birx said on "Fox News Sunday" when asked what she would tell people who say they have a right not to wear a mask in public.
    "Out of respect for each other, as Americans that care for each other, we need to be wearing masks in public when we cannot social distance," she said.

    1. Laughable isn't it. Here is what a Yale psychiatrist has to say about Birx when asked. "Dr. Birx I understand less, but one should not underestimate the power of mental pathology; even the soundest minds give in to the most bizarre delusions under its pressure. This is how untreated, severe pathology from the top spreads and exhausts you, which is why in psychiatric settings the treatment is removal: we hospitalize the patient so the family can improve."

      Trump doesn't wear a mask simply because he thinks it will make him look weak. He continues to minimize the risk of the virus just as Bolsonaro of Brazil is doing and now Brazil is rivaling the U.S.in case numbers.

      From this article. https://www.salon.com/2020/04/08/yale-psychiatrist-bandy-lee-trumps-deadly-briefings-display-anti-human-psychology/

  8. You are accumulating quite a gang of hiking women :-)

    1. You mean "babes," right. These babes are tough-as-nails hikers...just like you "babe." :)

  9. As on outsider (from Australia) it is fascinating looking at what is happening in the US. Almost like watching a car crash in slow motion. I feel for those of you who are responsible, caring members of society having to put up with the absolute garbage that comes from the "personal freedoms" crowd. Living in a civilised society has plenty of benefits. Most know about these but it also comes with responsibilities as well. These responsibilities seem conveniently forgotten at the moment.
    Good luck with it.


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