Mask: What you can do for your country

This isn’t a rant. It’s not a plea. It’s a just a bit of logic.

I’m not sure why wearing a mask is such a problem.

I’m saving money on makeup, sunscreen, and moisturizer.

I’m kinda in awe of some of the masks I see. Disposable or washable, adjustable, coordinated to every outfit.

I love the creativity of some of the masks I see. This is CeCe on her way to work during Phase3. She’s an essential worker at a local grocery store. And, she just graduated from college.

The state I live in is at Stage 4 of Restoration. We have been since June 29. We follow the CDC’s original gating criteria for opening businesses.

That means the number of number of new cases is 8% or less, we have testing available to everyone regardless of symptoms, and we can begin contact tracing within 24 hours. (Today our positivity rate is 3.1%)

We’ll be in Stage 4 until effective treatments or a vaccine is available. That means we’ll be practicing the 3Ws for the foreseeable future:

  • Wearing masks,
  • Washing our hands, and
  • Watching our physical distance.

During our Staycation, we went to Lincoln Park Zoo. We needed reservations. I had the touchless tickets in my eWallet. We sanitized our hands before we entered the zoo. We were “metered” into the zoo, so we could maintain the required physical distance. In case we forgot, we had six-foot reminders at each exhibit. Everyone had masks on, even toddlers. No one complained about masks and it was 95 degrees.

After the zoo, we walked to the Apple store. People along the way, except runners, had masks on. A line snaked out of the store, everyone stayed six feet apart, standing on the marked circles as they wound their way into the store. As we entered the store, we sanitized our hands.

We walked to a restaurant. We wore our masks. We sanitized our hands as we entered. We sat at a table surrounded by empty tables. We wore our masks when we visited the washroom and any other time we left the table.

Nobody complained.

The next day we bicycled to a local restaurant. We put our masks on before we entered the restaurant. The hostess apologized and for the wait while the staff finished sanitizing our table.

No one else wore a mask. Patrons walked by without masks.

The hostess said 95% of the people coming in refused to wear masks.

I said what I always do:

Wearing a mask is a sign of respect for the people that work there.

Employees at restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses are in it for eight hours or more. They are exposed to everyone that comes in. Their risk is high. If you’re not worried about yourself, say, by your actions, that you care about the people who serve you.

The hostess said something I had not heard before:

I don’t want to close down again. I want people to wear masks so we can stay open and I can keep working.

(restaurant hostess)

Restoration Phase 4 has criteria we must maintain. If an area sees an increase in positivity rate for seven out off ten days, and and increase hospitalization for seven days or a positivity rate more than 8% for three days, we could go back to Phase 3, which means shuttering a lot of businesses that are just getting their feet on steady ground again.

So if you aren’t worried about yourself, and you don’t want to protect others, be selfish and keep the businesses you love open.

Mask yourself: Why not?

It’s good for you. It’s good for me. It’s good for business. It’s good for the country.

I made these masks for my friend Crystal and her husband, James.