David Hirzel/My Turn
Regardless of one’s age, zip code, or political affiliation, one of the following about COVID-19 is true:
1. You have had no symptoms, therefore you have not (yet) been infected, or you are infected and contagious, you just don’t know it yet. These look exactly the same.
2. You have had a bad cough or cold, but since you didn’t have all the known symptoms at the time, you assume it was not COVID-19.
3. You know you have had it and survived, but don’t have any idea how many people you may have passed it along to while you were contagious.
All three of the above point to the fact that we can’t know for sure until after we have passed through the contagious stage. By the time a trend shows up in a community, or city, or state (think NY in the beginning, and Florida and Texas and others right now), it has been spreading all along.
So it’s a good idea for all of us to do the only things we know that work—social distancing, handwashing, mask-wearing, staying at home until we’re bored to tears—because as the CDC has today confirmed, this epidemic is now spreading through the USA too rapidly and too broadly to be brought under control.
It took a little more than two months for the US to record its first 50,000 coronavirus cases.
Now it has seen that many cases reported in a single day. It will not “simply disappear,” regardless of how ardently Mr. Trump wishes that were so. Too bad the failure-to-lead-by-example president has worked so hard to politicize a simple act like taking care of one’s own health. Notice how many of his erstwhile followers have started ignoring his advice.
Wearing a mask or not in public is no demonstration of party loyalty. It’s a show of self-control and self-respect, and care for those at home who will suffer if the virus is inadvertently brought to friends and family, old and young and yet to be born. And yes, the invincible younger set who can catch it and suffer and die just like anyone else.
Or take care not to. The choice is yours.
(David Hirzel is a Bay Area writer. You can find his books at your favorite book store.)