I lost my dearly beloved mother-in-law to COVID-19 last month. She did not go gentle into that good night.
Two days before her oxygen saturation levels cratered and she could no longer say more than a few words without gasping for breath, she told me on the phone that she didn’t know how in the world she had contracted COVID.
“I haven’t been around anyone with COVID. I don’t even know anyone who’s had COVID,”
“But Mom,” I said, gently sharing information that had just recently been published in two medical journals, “a lot of people who test positive for COVID don’t even have any symptoms. You didn’t know they had COVID. They didn’t know they had COVID.”
In speaking with my own family members and friends, I now have personal knowledge of close to 20 people who have contracted the novel coronavirus. One dear friend was in the ICU for six days.
“This thing has teeth,” he told me.
Four people I know, my own beloved mother-in-law included, have died. Not one of them lived in social communities where masking in public and social distancing were consistently practiced. On the other hand, the July 14th Journal of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published an article citing two COVID-19-positive hairstylists working at a Great Clips salon in Springfield, Mo. who exposed 139 clients and six coworkers to the coronavirus. Both hair stylists, all six coworkers, and all 139 clients were required to wear masks in the salon.
“No client or coworker contracted the virus from either infected stylist,” the report concluded. (https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.livescience.com/amp/hair-stylists-infected-covid19-face-masks.html).
Please, Durango, mask up in public. We aren’t going to have to be doing this for the rest of our lives. We might not even have to be doing this at all by next summer. Already there are three vaccines that are 90 to 95% effective and should become available before the end of this year, and hopefully the beginning of the end of this miserable pandemic will follow. But in the meantime – masks do save lives. Maybe the life of someone you love very, very much.