Pandemic notes – part two

By Jack Brezina/contributing writer

With the gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, it certainly is a treat to see some additional stores opening in our community. The hardware and lumber yards did their best to meet the requirements of people needing supplies and tools, with curb-side service. However, there is nothing sweeter than walking the aisles, ogling the gadgets and doodads that we covet, even though their exact use remains somewhat hazy. I believe it’s a guy thing.

I hope everyone who can, is making an effort to purchase take-out meals from area restaurants which are still closed to the walk-in trade. Tucking into a dinner at home reawakens the flavor experiences missed by not being able to dine out. But more importantly, the transaction helps to keep that eatery alive and functioning so it will still be there when we can walk through the doors and enjoy the ambiance and the meal once again.

And speaking of masks, I am really enjoying the different designs that people have come up with to personalize their face coverings. Patterned material, coloured cloth, painted-on smiles, they all help to brighten the experience for those looking at the covered faces. I am, however, a little confused by the fashion statements some people are making by the way they wear their protective coverings. There is not much protection offered if the mask is dangling from one ear. Unless you have a hole in your chin, a mask slung around that part of the face isn’t likely going to be of much value. Likewise, those who choose to tuck the mask just under their noses appear to be missing the point of the whole thing. Then there are those who go about face naked. I am aware there was some initial confusion about the value of wearing a face covering at all, which has likely led to the cavalier attitude of those who ignore the recommendation altogether. Consider this: the mask is much like a condom … it protects the people on both sides of the transaction.

For those still attending meetings on line, here is a Zoom or Skype, or whatever platform you use, tip of the week: Wise meeting organizers always build in a 15-minute buffer at the beginning of each meeting to allow for the resolution of technical glitches. It is during this time that you can watch colleagues, who haven’t un-muted their microphones, miming that they can’t hear anything even though the video is operational. The struggle to communicate often involves exaggerated mouthing of the words they would like the rest of us to interpret. When that fails, they resort to holding up scribbled signs. Others present themselves as a blank screen, even though their voices are booming through. Still others seem totally befuddled by the technology and never seem to show up at all. In many cases, the host phones to provide instructions while the rest watch as the lost souls emerge like butterflies, to greet the world like they knew all along how the system worked.

So, march onward you weary, masked pandemicites, at an appropriate distance from each other, of course. We’re all in this together and it is going to get better … and, oh yes, wash your hands

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