Masks are not the devil’s law. Masks have been scientifically proven to protect people. Wearing masks are protecting people who are immunocompromised, people taking care of other people who are immunocompromised, or who cannot wear masks because of their own health issues (asthma). Masks do not kill 99.999% of the population.
Get your heads out of your butts and start giving a crap about other people.
It’s been THAT week here. My sweet child decided to pull out his g-tube on Tuesday (necessitating it being changed a month early and causing me a pretty massive adrenaline spike as I had to change it while being half-awake), I’m fighting allergies up the wazoo, and that’s not even getting into all the racial and political things going on in this country. I can’t do much about my kiddo’s g-tube sitch or the allergies, but I figured I would vent out my spleen on the politics and social things.
The governor of Oklahoma has invited Trump to visit the neighborhood where the Tulsa Race Massacre took place, and black Tulsans are unnerved by this. They also didn’t include black leaders in the discussion, which is a pretty huge slap in the face when THEY were the ones killed in the massacre.
It might be a good idea to lift up some prayers for everyone in the Tulsa area for safety from the COVID-19 cluster that is probably going to result as well as from any of Trump’s “fine upstanding people” causing shenanigans.
Commemorating the Emanuel 9. Five years ago, Dylann Roof walked into Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina and shot nine people dead. He did it in order to start a race war, and one of the most vivid memories I have of the day after it happened is one of the family members of the deceased telling Roof that she forgave him because she had to do it as a Christian. He wanted to start a fight, and she effectively blocked him.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, one of my former denominations, held a prayer service to commemorate them on Wednesday.
Hydroxychloroquine. The CDC has pulled emergency authorization for use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine… BECAUSE IT IS UNLIKELY TO BE EFFECTIVE!!!!!!!!!!!! All of us who have been offered it by our rheumatologists for our conditions are rolling our eyes because WE HAVE BEEN TELLING PEOPLE THIS. (Its brand name is Plaquenil, and it has been out for a while.) Among the side effects that turned me off of trying it was liver issues and retinal damage. If it was the only thing that was going to keep me alive, my parents (who have my medical POA) would have permitted it to be given to me, but there was no conclusive evidence that it would do any good–only that it would cause serious cardiac side effects.
The lesson here: Trump should have waited until peer-reviewed/strong> studies came out before talking about it.
One more mask take. I’m just going to say this plainly:
IF YOU ARE REFUSING TO WEAR A MASK* IN PUBLIC AND DON’T HAVE A MEDICAL REASON** FOR DOING SO, YOU ARE A SELFISH HUMAN BEING.***
Yes, your glasses fog up. Guess what? It happens to doctors and nursing staff in hospitals all the time. (I’ve seen probably 50 letters to the editor from doctors and nurses all over the country on this subject.)They have no sympathy for you, and I don’t either. I’ve had to live in a mask, gloves, and gown over my clothes for a week at a time while in the PICU with Daniel. If I can do it for a week or more at a time, you can do it for an hour while grocery-shopping or at Mass. Masking up protects those around you from getting infected with COVID-19 if you have it, and it honestly is a sign that you care about the welfare of other people. Given that states are opening up too fast and seeing a spike in infections, places need to be enforcing it.
Yes, Trump doesn’t wear one, but he’s also a fundamentally selfish human being who requires those around him to wear masks instead because he cares about them not infecting him, but not about him infecting them. Don’t be like Trump. Mask up.
(And to my main troll: the office of your Congressional representative thinks it’s hysterically funny that someone in Washington state is donating to her campaign because one of her constituents is being an Internet troll.)
*Bandanas and neck gaiters count here as well.
**Autism is included in medical reasons.
***If you haven’t been able to acquire one and/or need instructions on how to make one, leave me a comment and I’ll get you information on how to do that.
A friend of mine shared this on Facebook, and it was too good not to share here.
From the Saints at Holy Comforter, Charlotte.
A reading from 1 Covidians 12:1-11
Now concerning the wearing of masks, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that in the time before Covid, we were enticed and led astray thinking that we were not responsible for one another’s health. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the spirit of love ever says ‘masks be cursed!’; and no one can say ‘masks are a really good idea for everybody!’ except through a spirit of love.
Now there are varieties of masks, but the same spirit of wearing them; and there are varieties of mask wearers, but the same virus; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same precautions that must be shown to everyone.
To each is given a manifestation of a mask for the common good. To one a mask is given through our mask makers, and to another a purchased one online, or in a store according to the same spirit of protection. Some fashion one after watching a video on YouTube, to another… they already had some. The knowledge of needing to wear one according to the same spirit, to another faith that the same spirit will improve health and save lives.
Another receives the gifts of healing by this generous spirit, to another this seems no less than the working of a miracle, another prophesies that we’ll get through all of this sooner by observing these loving precautions, to another the discernment of figuring out how all can get one, to another the knowledge that a mask hides all kinds of mouths and tongues, to another the understanding that those mouths and tongues are still there, behind those masks.
All these are activated by one and the same spirit, and we hope to allot to each one individually just as they choose.
In other words, wear a mask!…
Because loving our neighbor as ourselves is the crux of it. When we wear a mask we are saying that we love and care for ourselves, and that we love and care for our neighbors. If our neighbor is sick (and perhaps doesn’t even know it yet) our masks help protect US. If WE are sick (and perhaps don’t even know it yet) our masks help protect OUR NEIGHBOR…
… it is a tangible and visible manifestation and practice of our LOVE.
Thanks to the Rev. Greg and the Rev. Gene, Deacon of Holy Comforter Episcopal Church Charlotte, NC
Update on the broken tooth. Some of you might remember that I broke a tooth about 2 1/2 weeks ago. Well, word of it got to a parishioner who manages a dental office, and she offered to get me seen PDQ. I went in today, and the tooth was apparently not worth saving by root canal or crown, so I let them extract it. Getting my mouth numbed wasn’t pleasant, but the extraction process wasn’t too bad. They were able to get it out in one piece, and I got to see what an adult tooth looks like, root and all. I have to wait five weeks before they put in a bridge because my jaw needs to heal properly first.
Lessons from “Live PD” #1. If you have anything in your car and the police ask if they can search it, just confess it. The dog WILL find it, and your car WILL get torn apart. I have yet to see anyone get away with having stuff on them and the dog not finding it.
Lessons from “Live PD” #2. If a police officer turns their lights on behind you, just pull over where you (or where it is safe to do so). Do not just continue on home. They WILL take you to jail for fleeing, and the reason they were pulling you over was probably for something minor. Stopping in your driveway does not mean you are “safe”.
Washington’s stay-at-home order is being extended until the 31st, which is reasonable as we were the first hotspot and we’ve seen our curve flattening in the right direction as a result of the order. I thought I would share what is keeping me functional right now because maybe it might help someone else who is having a hard time?
Posting mask selfies. I was originally doing it to snark about Mike Pence not wearing one at the Mayo Clinic, but it has gotten to just be fun now. Having had a COVID-19 test last weekend, I will *JOYFULLY* wear masks in public for the rest of my life to not have to go through that again. Yeah, my glasses fog up, but that is so much easier than being stuck in an isolation room or being intubated, not knowing if I would wake up from sedation alive. I also am happy to do it if it has even a remote shot of protecting others from getting infected. It’s not an imposition if it contributes to public health, and I fail to understand why people are being so pissy about companies like Costco requiring masks. There are a bunch of patterns online for even us who can’t sew, and it’s a craft you can make with kids, or you can google “masks for sale in [your area]” and give money to someone who might be using this to make ends meet right now.
Volunteering for my church. Even once the state is opened up again, I will probably still have to wait a few weeks to be able to join the folks at St. Paul’s again. This is why I’m really happy that I can help make Sunday worship happen for us on Zoom, and also help make our postponed “Lenten” book study possible.
Watching YouTube. My guilty pleasure is “Live PD”. I’m sorry to admit that I really do enjoy watching being tracked by K9 officers or tased. (My cousin, who is an ex-sheriff’s deputy up here, would be rolling his eyes at me.)
Working. I am thankfully blessed with a job I can do online, so I’m working with students ~12 hours a week. I don’t have any Accounting students for a change (it’s one of my specialties), but I have gotten lent out to the entire campus, so I am working in departments as diverse as Human Services (basically, social work) and GIS (Geographic Information Systems). The reason: I’m a Microsoft specialist, and I’m apparently good at working with English Language Learners. (I love my English learners fiercely. I’ve only had two students among them who haven’t been people I want as coworkers someday, and I’m continually blown away at how well they’re doing their classes in their second or third language.)
I also have an amazing boss and really fun co-tutors. Tutor-training meetings are actually pretty fun, even on Zoom.
Reading. I was trying to bring my Target cart up to $25 so an order of cleaning wipes would ship, and I added a mass-market paperback murder mystery that looked kind of nice to it to bump my order to the right amount. I ended up reading the book in one sitting and ordered the other seven in the series. I think that what I need to get me reading again is something brainless because my daily life requires a huge amount of serious thought.
**UPDATE** I got my test results back yesterday morning, and they were NEGATIVE for COVID-19. I saw the dentist today and she gave me a referral for an endodontist. Now to find one that takes my Medicaid and who is actually performing root canals!
Background: I broke a tooth this past week and planned to just suck it up until things calmed down with the pandemic or until my filling appointment came in July. (Yes, I know I’m an idiot and that I don’t have the sense God gave geese.) It got so painful on Thursday that I called the community health clinic to see if they could get me in emergently. I checked their website and saw that they were only seeing emergency cases… which I was. They couldn’t get me in on Friday, but they made an appointment for me this morning at 10:15. I was unnerved about going in because
I arrived at 10:00 wearing my medical-grade mask and one of the receptionists stepped outside to do the screening. (There was nobody in the waiting room, which I was heartened to see because the clinic usually serves a part of the population who doesn’t believe in COVID-19.) I made the mistake of being honest and told them that I was having allergy symptoms… because I am and someone was cutting grass near me, so I was getting a bit sniffly. That set off their red flags, and the dental part of the clinic refused to see me until I could be medically-cleared. The medical staff told me that in order to see me, I would have to become their patient and transfer all my care to them. (The big hospital system in town takes my Medicaid, so I’m their patient. They just don’t have a dentist associated with them.) My alternatives were to wait until Monday and go to the drive-thru testing at the college or to go to the Acute Respiratory Clinic run by the hospital system. I opted for the Acute Respiratory Clinic, so I grabbed coffee (because I hadn’t had any in a few days) and headed there.
When I got there, a nurse in a face shield, Tyvek suit, mask, and booties was screening people in the parking lot. When I told her the situation, she cleared me to enter the clinic and commented that she was glad I was wearing a mask. Another nurse dressed similarly went down the hall to see if the doctor wanted to swab me, and they did. (The rationale was that they wanted to make sure I could get the tooth taken care of, and this would serve to clear me.) I was escorted to an exam room, my vitals were taken, and the nurse laid out some gloves and hospital-grade disinfecting wipes so I could disinfect my purse in the car. A doctor with a cheerful face checked me out, and she ordered the test after joking that we really need to talk to the pandemic council about scheduling pandemics during allergy season. (To nobody’s surprise, I had no fever, my vitals were excellent, and my lungs sounded incredibly good for someone with allergy asthma.) Another nurse took me outside to the tent where she did the swab.
This is the swab, by the way:
She had me lower my mask to access my nose but cover my mouth because she said it would make me cough. (She was right.) It was an incredibly unpleasant and peculiar sensation. Unlike the uncomfortable tickly feeling of an influenza swab, this one feels like intense pressure but not pain. (If I had to pick between the two, this one was less horrible, mostly because they only have to do one nostril and it doesn’t feel like you want to jab something into your nose to stop the tickly feeling.) I was told that my results would be back within 48 hours, told not to leave the house until I get them, given my after-visit summary and information on the test, and sent on my way.
When I got home, I cleaned my purse, my coffee cup, my steering wheel, my car’s seat, and my cell phone with the hospital-grade cleaning wipes before getting into the house, washing my hands (OBVIOUSLY!), and taking a shower. I’m going to toss my flip-flops in the trash because it’s not worth putting them through the washer on hot (like I did with my clothes and towel), and I’m keeping my distance more from my parents until I get the test results back. Getting tested put me at greater exposure to COVID-19 than my regular life did, but I’m glad that the community health clinic is taking this seriously. It makes me feel better about having to have them work on my mouth and (likely) extract the tooth.