COVID CHRONICLES Day 15 & 16

Saturday, April 4 & Sunday, April 5

I’m happy to announce we’re moving in a forward direction again. Saturday turned out to be Day 0. Sunday Day 1. That puts our Release Date at Wednesday! Because we don’t know for sure until the end of each day, I’ll continue to post a bit late for the next few days.

As an aside, after all the emphasis on starting with 0, we heard from the county Department of Health that they’re now starting with Day 4 and counting down to 0. From that vantage point, Sunday is day 3. I mean, could this be more confusing? I get the idea of counting down. But I’m using the first damn system you sent me, thank you very much.

I had a discussion with my sister-in-law (we live in a household of 10). She’s an RN who was disabled by a work accident. She’s keeping up on the latest research and information and is essentially responsible for the health and safety of our house, with lots of consultation of course. She’s also one of my sources of medical information for this series.

Our primary goal after leaving quarantine is to make absolutely certain that we continue to protect my 86-year-old father-in-law until there is absolutely no doubt. So, we agreed that my wife and I will wear masks when we’re around my father-in-law, and he will so the same. We will practice 6-foot distancing and other cleaning protocols as well. We will do this until 14 days after my wife’s final day of symptoms. That means we can stop wearing masks on April 18 if all goes according to plan.

Is this a hassle? Sure. Is it relatively small in comparison to the peace of mind that we’ve done everything we can to be cautious, at every step of the way? You betcha.

Now to the title of today’s post. I’m linking to these posts on Twitter (@wynnsworld). My entire Twitter experience improved once I made efforts to curated it to make sure I hear a more diverse set of voice than I might otherwise. And one of the best parts is Black Twitter. Note the only comments I make there are mea culpas. But I learn so much listening. And, I both cringe and laugh at the truth they speak about white people.

Anyway, as I was tracking the face mask discussion, I had a head-slapping moment. The overwhelming and immediate response to the CDC announcement on my Twitter feed from People of Color in general and Black people specifically was this:

“Black people wearing masks. What could possibly go wrong?”

What, indeed. I’m disappointed this wasn’t immediately obvious to me. Despite all my work to the contrary, sometimes my white privilege still blinds me. But now I can at least amplify this perspective.

Follow the link below for a first-person account from the Boston Globe (also the origin of the photo above).

Why I don’t feel safe wearing a face mask

I’m a Black man living in this world. I want to stay alive, but I also want to stay alive.

I simply can’t blame him. But what do we do about it? We can’t let bias drive public health policy. So, doing away with face masks isn’t an option. At a minimum it means having plenty of masks available that are non-threatening while still being cool enough to wear. It means not making masks that are all red or all blue, have guns or threatening statements, or even express political views.

Lord knows I’m not trying to censor anyone. What I am doing is suggesting we have an opportunity here. Masks can become a great equalizer. What if each of us thought of our mask as a small billboard about how we want to show up? What if we thought of them as signs of solidarity? What if we publicly expressed our belief that we’re all in this together? And what if we had to confront our own biases every time we judged someone on something other than what’s on their mask?

Sure, that’s a utopian vision. Yet, as I will describe in future posts, we have no idea about the longer-term implications of this pandemic. And, out of the ashes will inevitably rise new ways of being and behaving now that the world has stopped for many of us. Will this be for the better or worse? I hope the former. But we have to make it so.

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Professional Communicator, Change Agent & Nonprofit Specialist. “COVID CHRONICLES” documents life under pandemic. Also write on sports, politics and life.

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Wynn Hausser

Wynn Hausser

Professional Communicator, Change Agent & Nonprofit Specialist. “COVID CHRONICLES” documents life under pandemic. Also write on sports, politics and life.

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