While I’ve been trying to focus on Lock Down Cooking Fun and other angles on the COVID-19 crisis designed to help us all maintain a positive, forward-looking attitude to the ongoing privations of the pandemic, I’ve been making other observations, as well. Today, a couple of peripheral issues that deserve our attention…
Unbder mounting pressure, U.S. President Donald Trump has actually gone as far as
to give lip service to the idea that wearing anti-COVID-19 masks is ‘okay’…
Politics v.s. common sense
I’ve discussed this issue with a number of corespondents, family members and friends, and I know from that that I’m not along in my position on it. Now there’s some indication that, while officials, elected representatives and Pubic health experts at the highest levels can’t agree on the need for everyone to wear masks to help stem the resurgence in the spread of the COVID-19.
Politicians between proverbial rock and hard place
Following along with the strong push by Republican President Donald Trump to get the U.S. economy ‘re-opened’, a number of Republican governors and mayors – and others – have insisted on easing virus lock down rules. The President’s desire to end the lock down was and remains his plan to run for re-election on his economic record – a plan that the COVID-19 shut down has totally scuttled. Rather than bolstering Trump’s position, the partial re-opening of the economy has resulted in a second surge of the pandemic in the U.S. that is even more serious than the original one.
Supporters of the re-opening effort say they have a right to refuse to wear masks and to refuse to obey mask requirements instituted by private businesses such as retail stores and restaurants. anti-maskers and store staff have some to blows in some cases, over the alleged ‘constitutional right’ of Americans not to self-isolate, observe social distancing rules or mask-up. Young people insist they’re bullet-proof to the virus, and conveniently ignore the danger their free-and-easy attitude and careless practices will bring the virus home and spread it to friends and relatives who are members of higher-risk demographics. But there are two sides to every story…
Strong push-back from grocery and resto sectors
Fortunately, some state, county and major city governments are ignoring the politicians and following new recommendations from the top disease control agencies, ‘encouraging’ their citizens to step back, mask-up again and re-adopt social distancing rules. And leading corporate entities are setting good examples, making high-profile moves to publicise their decisions to pull back from phase-two or -three re-opening protocols, to ensure the safety of their customers and employees.
Among the leading corporations to pull back are Walmart, which has decreed that everyone – customers and employees both – must now wear masks to enter their stores. They’re also, reportedly, re-enforcing rigid social distancing protocols.
Starbucks, one of the world’s biggest premium Coffee outlets, is also re-instituting masking regulations at its stores among other rules designed to get the pandemic under control again.
As far as we’ve heard, no politician at any level has attempted to bring in any laws or regulations that would attempt to force businesses not to put higher-level anti-COVID-19 measures back in place.
Even Trump softening his position on resurgence
In a notable walk-back, President Trump allowed himself to be photographed in a mask earlier this week, and went as far as to admit that masks are ‘okay’. But that was obviously a one-off, a sop to those on his staff and in his party who are fighting to get him to endorse re-instituting higher-level anti-virus measures.
And just yesterday, he publicly stated what we all already knew: “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
And by the way…
Just one more re-opening-related issue to resolve…
Getting the kids back to school is a huge issue to the politicians, who want to get students’ parents back to work by re-opening the economy by pushing for ‘full bricks and mortar’ school re-openings by the first week of September, or event sooner. Educators and many parents are mounting angry backlash against the idea of re-opening the schools too soon. It’s been proven, now, that elementary- and high school-aged kids are just as likely to catch and transmit COVID-19 as older people, but less likely to show symptoms. In the absence of universal testing of school-aged kids, some observers have labelled youngsters who go back too soon ‘time bombs’.
Thank you from the rest of us, Walmart, Starbucks and all the others at ‘ground level, for choosing not to risk spreading the coronavirus relying on common sense rather than politicising the issues that divide their countrymen and women!
It’s curious – on some levels, at least – to note that politicians in other countries don’t have any schism whatsoever over what to do about the resurgence of COVID-19. That’s at least partly because some other countries aren’t experiencing a resurgence, and that’s largely because they didn’t try to re-open their economies too early.
~ Maggie J.