On July 12,2020, my home state of Florida experienced the most new cases of Covid-19 in a single day of any state: 15,300 newly diagnosed cases. It’s a number that creates hesitation about interacting with people in any way.
Perhaps you believe that:
- this virus is an act of war by the Chinese or
- this virus is a hoax by one or the other political party or
- high single day positive numbers are due to test results released in bulk or
- results include many false positives.
You can believe whatever you want, but what really matters right now is whether you get sick or not. This disease is wildly contagious. Getting sick depends on how you behave around sick people or sick people behave around you.
As of July 10, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 80% of Covid-19 cases are asymptomatic or mild. Based on that statistic, we could estimate that of those 15,300 new positive Florida cases, 12,240 of them appear well and show little or no sign of illness.
Let’s suppose that I’m one of those approximately 12,000 stealth positives. I feel fine and haven’t received my test results yet. I come to your home to meet and cuddle your new infant grandson. Of course his mother is there and I hug her as an expression of the love everyone feels when there’s a new baby. We sit around your happy family dinner table together, talking and laughing. Nobody is thinking about a mask, because we’re all feeling fine.
The next day I receive the positive results of the Covid-19 test and I still feel fine. When I call you with this news, how would you feel toward me? What would you say to me? What would you do next for yourself and your family? In any case, the next two weeks will most likely be quite stressful.
To paraphrase Shakespeare:
- To wear or not to wear a mask
- To wash or not to wash your hands
- To distance or not to distance.
That IS the question!
The mask on my face is to protect you from me, your children from me, your grandparents from me. It’s my way of expressing the Golden Rule during this pandemic, regardless of the discomfort and aggravation of wearing the darn thing.
What are you willing to do to protect others from the possibility that you’ve contracted this disease and show no symptoms?