The View From Here, by Rich Paschall

Living Fearlessly

You have probably seen plenty of examples of this. There are those who need a haircut no matter what the risk. Some must have a party, no matter what stay at home orders have been issued. Others absolutely have to go to the beach, even if it is crowded. Those dying to get out and about don’t believe that they will be dying because they went out and about.

This week I saw two grade-school kids riding their bike down the street. They had no masks on. I did not recognize them as living nearby so perhaps they were just riding around the neighborhood. A day later I saw two different kids riding up and down the alley behind the house. They had masks but were not wearing them across their faces, just hooked around their ears and across their necks. They were probably told not to leave the house without them, so they didn’t. The two boys in the alley stopped to talk to an older girl. She did not have a mask on either. Recently I have been to two different convenience stores. As I went into one, a man was coming out sipping his coffee. He did not have a mask. A postal worker was buying a batch of Lotto tickets. She had no mask. As I was checking out, I mentioned to the checker that every single customer in that store did not have a mask. She and I were the only ones. A guy without a mask behind me in line got a piece of my mind. He did not say anything but he did back up a few steps. At another convenience store two young guys behind the counter were not wearing masks or gloves. I walked out.

I have seen the same sort of thing at the supermarket and the pharmacy. I tried to go to them in the first hour on a Tuesday or Thursday when it is Seniors only. Despite the signs on the doors, people enter who are not wearing masks. Some are not even Seniors.

You may have seen on the news, if you have the stomach to watch the news these days, that there are plenty of people out protesting for their right to congregate any way they wish. They even intimidate lawmakers by showing up at the state capital with automatic weapons. Many do not seem to think that any of their fellow protestors might have the coronavirus.

On our local Chicago news, we saw that business in neighboring Wisconsin had reopened. Despite bars and restaurants being encouraged to maintain social distancing, scenes from a crowded bar were broadcast. One of the people interviewed was a nurse from down here in hard-hit Cook County, Illinois. She has seen plenty of COVID-19 patients. Now she’s sorry she was interviewed at a bar.

Instant Karma

Instant Karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead – John Lennon.

Perhaps you heard of the Virginia pastor who vowed to keep his church open unless he was in jail or in the hospital. He’s in the cemetery. He preached to a crowded church on March 22 and died on Easter of the virus. Parishioners and preachers have died of the virus because they thought they would be safe in a crowded church. An elderly priest died in Texas recently, but they seemed to dismiss this because he was old anyway. Some of his parishioners tested positive.

A Texas mom of two boys who declared the virus a “media hoax” died from it. So did an evangelical pastor who went to Mardi Gras. There are plenty of such cases. Some who contracted it have recovered after attending Mardi Gras, or a crowded party. Some didn’t.

Survivors of near-death experiences think we are moving too quickly to reopen businesses. “People don’t really understand how serious this is until they know somebody who’s going through it,” one survivor’s girlfriend claimed. I have seen enough of this type of interview on the news. In general, the survivor is very sorry for attending____________ (insert crowded event here).

In red counties that had strongly supported Trump, and have pushed to reopen businesses, the virus is on the rise. Four days after the Republican governor of Maryland started opening up businesses in the state, they had the largest number of positive tests for one day so far. Coincidence or karma?

Living In Fear

The sort of thing you see above in “Living Fearlessly” are the reasons that so many of us who are older or have suppressed immune systems live in fear. We can not count on going to the store and have all the patrons follow the rules. Some of us qualify to go to the store during the Senior hour, but that means nothing if the store is afraid to enforce the rules. I shop at stores that have large signs posted to wear masks, and certain hours are Seniors only, but it doesn’t matter.  If people are so willing to violate these rules about the store, we can probably guess that they are willing to break other rules too. Do we want to be in the store with them?

The lieutenant governor of Texas may believe that Seniors are willing to lay down their lives for the economy, but I have news for him. He can go out and take risks, but we don’t feel that way. We want to be around long enough to vote that sort of politician out of the political office or keep them from getting in.

I live in a two-flat house. My much younger neighbor upstairs had been very careful, wearing a mask and gloves to the stores. He was always cleaning and sanitizing. He gave me a special mask around Christmas time that not only covers nose and mouth but ears too. We had some bad winters in the past. I use it a lot now.

He has contracted the virus. He’s had girlfriends over to spend the night. There is more than one, I think. He probably trusted they were just as safe as he was otherwise. He was obviously wrong. Now he is sick. We have a common front hall and front door, common basement area with a common washer and dryer. We could touch a lot of the same surfaces in a day. He is not intentionally trying to kill off his older neighbors. Sometimes people just don’t think about it until it is too late.

Instant Karma Sources: “VIRGINIA PASTOR DIES FROM COVID-19… 3 Weeks After Holding Packed Service,” TMZ, April 13, 2020.
Parishioner of Louisiana Church That Defied Virus Lockdown Dies From COVID-19, But Pastor Claims It’s a Lie,” by Rachel Olding, Daily Best, April 17, 2020.
Texas church cancels masses following the death of priest possibly from coronavirus,” by Meredith Deliso, ABC News, May 18, 2020.
Family Of COVID-19 Victim Who Criticized ‘Hysteria’ Around Virus Faces Online Attacks,” by Kelly McEvers, WBEZ 91.5, May 15, 2020.
Texas woman claimed COVID-19 is a media hoax & can be stopped by “faith.” Days later she died.” by Bil Browning, LGBTQNation, April 7, 2020.
After enduring ventilators, body aches, fever, coronavirus survivors say states shouldn’t be reopening.” by Rick Jervis and Kameel Stanley, USA Today, May 18, 2020.
COVID-19 continues spreading into counties with strong Trump support,” by William H. Frey, Brookings, May 20, 2020.
Maryland Reports Largest Rise Yet In Coronavirus Cases 4 Days After Reopening,” by Bill Chappell, WBEZ 91.5, May 19, 2020.
See also: “Absolutely No Absolute Rights,” SERENDIPITY, April 8, 2020.

Categories: Coronavirus - Covid 19, Getting old, Health, Medical, Rich Paschall

Tags: , , , , , , ,

35 replies

  1. There’s no shortage of stupid people, nor is there any shortage of clueless people. I have neighbors down the street who insist on having a mini-block party every afternoon when the weather’s warm – both kids and adults running from house to house, no masks, and no distance. It’s doubly stupid because they ride bikes and tricycles down the middle of the street, right where it curves, thereby reducing visibility to oncoming drivers. Fortunately, they’re far enough away that their behavior doesn’t really impact me. Hope you manage to avoid the virus, despite your clueless neighbor.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If I’ve been around people, it’s been outside and keeping to the 6 foot rule (and as I’m naturally loud, no issue with being not-heard. However, the kids that like to come and look in my garden have been going back and forth to each others’ houses since school went digital. Who knows how many family and friends they’ve bumped into down the road and communicated and played with? I’ve never seen a single one with a mask or gloves EVER. They’re constantly playing like nothing’s going on and I’m getting nervous about it. I’m gonna have to start saying “6 feet” every time they come too close to me if they go to play with the dogs.

    And now with neighbors and others saying they’re going to the beaches and stuff this holiday weekend… I’m gonna be sticking at home as much as humanly possible. I have no clue if the churches are open for business again today, but I decided I wasn’t gonna leave the house no matter what. It’s tough enough just going to work and on basic errands when I need to afterward, because I’m tired of reminding myself to keep extra gloves on me just in case and grab a mask. The vigilance is getting stressful to the point where I’d rather just not go anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d rather stay home. After two and half months of proving that our jobs could be done at home with the current technology, bosses are talking about a return. I don’t get it. Stay home until it is over.

      Liked by 1 person

      • unfortunately, my job entails fingerprinting and background checks. I have to physically touch people and verify info face to face, up to 50 people a day. At least I’ve bought a ton of vinyl gloves for me and my co-workers (the owners accidentally got cotton gloves that you can’t sanitize. I always had gloves on hand anyway in case a client had a skin condition, was a germaphobe, or it was flu season). Face mask and gloves, sanitizing before and after each client (my hands AND the equipment). That’s why, with all the precautions I have to take, I’m generally burned out on vigilance. I’m just going to work and going home. Tend to my garden and my pets and learn how to cook again.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. some people are just, stupid! and they will always be, stupid!



  4. A friend of mine works in a grocery store that has a huge sign at the entrance stating masks are required of all guests. She complained that, even though all employees are masked, some customers tend to disregard the sign and walk in unmasked. She asked if the could not be turned away or told to return wearing a mask. She was quickly shouted down. The almighty dollar is spoken here. Such a shame.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Some are afraid they will be attacked. A Family Dollar security guard was shot for telling someone they had to wear a mask to enter.


      • that’s why I loved that video of that guy at Costco trying to intimidate and embarrass the employee because he didn’t want to wear a mask and wouldn’t. The employee took the cart away and said he needed to leave. Best of all MANAGEMENT backed him up. They made the “no mask, no service” rule and stuck to it.

        If there’s an actual rule in place for a store, no masks means no entry, then they’d better post it at the entrance. And if a person refuses, they can leave. It’s simple.

        Frankly, because of the severity and spread of this health issue, I don’t see why having to wear a mask (or being encouraged to greatly) is any different than the “no shirt, no shoes, no service” mandate you see everywhere. That’s a hygiene issue, too.

        I hate how these businesses are trying not to alienate people and end up sticking their employees in tricky situations. Make your stance, employers, and post it at the door. That will also help folks who would rather everyone wear masks determine whether or not they’re even gonna go in. Win-win.

        Liked by 2 people

        • hope your friend’s management team grows a pair and enforces the sign. Wish we had businesses that would do a “mask only” rule and have it posted. I haven’t even tried a restaurant yet and probably won’t for a long damned time. But no business I know of requires masks for customers down here in my neck of the woods, except for Costco (I think), but I have no clue where they are or I’d go there and shop.

          Liked by 1 person

        • 7/11 posts signs, so does hte Jewel (ALbertson’s in most places) and it doesn’t seem to matter. Aldio posts it, has a person counting how many go in and out to keep the number down, and they have a security guard at the door. They take it seriously.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That’s what it takes. I went to a Home Depot that had a person counting at the door a couple weekends ago. long line outside, but it went smoothly. Was probably the 60th person in line and made it in in less than 5 minutes. As far as masks go, maybe employees have to wear ’em, but probably only half the customers at most wear them too. Including maybe half my customers. That’s why when we have to be within 6 feet, I’m usually looking away when I talk to them to keep my coffee breath to myself (hee hee). And if they’re not wearing a mask, it’s keeping THEIR breath a bit farther from my face.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Utah (possibly the reddest of red states) is where I live. In my area (northern Utah) the impact has been really, really low – few cases and very slow spread. Now it’s tourist season and many places are open for business – in house dining, no requirements for safety measures except that 6 foot distance business. I BET we’ll be hit up here and hit hard. I’ve been a non-mask wearer since this thing began, partially for psychological reasons (I have a phobia of things over my face) and partially because we were so lightly hit. I did observe rigorously the six foot margin, and I did wear my mask in places that required it or were heavily populated by idiots (such as the ones you mentioned). Now I see groups of young people gathering in tight circles, sitting across from one another at public venues and in general ignoring the fact that C-19 is still dangerous. I went to a near-by convenience store and was crowded against (a group of three teenagers who were ungloved, unmasked and obviously had no personal bubble at all) and now this week I’m sick. I don’t know that I’ve got C-19, but it’s entirely possible. Maybe it will kill me. I wouldn’t be sorry because stupidity has taken over and entitlement seems to be the theme of the day. Screw anyone else.. It’s really depressing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There is a certain culling going on here Rich. I wear a mask and who knows whether it will help or not. However, I’m still here and healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are here and exhausted. Partly allergies — the pollen for oak is everywhere. But also, we are getting so little sleep, it’s like having a newborn baby, but we do that when we are a lot younger and tired feels worse at our age.

      We were out yesterday. In the lab of course, there was only one other person other than Garry and me and we were all masked and gloved. Also at Koopmn’a everyone was masked and no one was coughing or sneezing and they were all mature people, mostly 50 on upward. At the dam, there was no one but us. But Owen comes in and out from work, and that worries me. He’s not a child either.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I would think you both would be fine except for the lack of sleep. As for Owen, well he would probably be fine too. At least we are aware of the situation and taking precautions.

        Liked by 1 person

      • We all have to be careful, especially if we have to go in and out. My boss thinks we should return to work in June. Since the current set up is working, I can not imagine why they would risk it.


    • I’m still here, but have to worry about all things my neighbor might touch.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. it is amazing how some people choose to be in personal denial, to the detriment of all

    Liked by 1 person


  1. THE TWO PANDEMICS – RICH PASCHALL | Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth
%d bloggers like this: