[EDITORIAL NOTE: Crabby Old Lady was curious about how people react to COVID-19 news and what their impressions are if, unlike her, they don't read as widely. So Crabby took a break and cut her news consumption in half for a few days mostly in regard to the virus.
She didn't take notes and is relying on memory for this post which is probably more like most people read.]
Wearing a mask any time a person is among others and keeping a distance of six feet between any two people make sense to Crabby. Especially so when you know these two practices along with frequent hand washing are the only tools we have to help prevent COVID-19 infections.
But the information we get is inconsistent, confusing, changes frequently and sources of it are not always trustworthy.
Remember a hundred years ago – oh, all right, three months ago – when they said we the public don't need masks, that they are for healthcare workers? It turns out that was lie told, according to some, only because there were not, in the beginning, enough masks to go around.
Others say masks protect others, not one's self. Crabby has never bought that but she wouldn't bet money on what she know about science or medicine. What she does understand is that she feels more protected wearing one and is happy to help keep others healthy.
Masks are becoming more available now and there is a fairly large cottage industry of home-made masks throughout the United States. Still, Crabby has questions.
Every recent mention of wearing masks specifies “cloth” masks. But Crabby sees people wearing black face masks that appear to be made of rubber or pliable plastic. Are those better than cloth? What about the usually blue-colored paper masks with the folds? Do they do the job? No one is telling Crabby.
They say we should always be at least six feet from other people. That is, Crabby guesses, unless you are a White House reporter. Last week, the White House moved the Rose Garden chairs for the press corps close together because, according to reports, the president not only refuses to wear a mask, he doesn't like seeing crowds all spread out.
Like mask wearing, social distancing seems to have become a personal choice. Crabby doesn't go anywhere these days except to the pharmacy and the supermarket - all in one building in her case.
There are arrows on the floor making aisles one way streets. Handy, but most shoppers appear to see this as a suggestion only, and the two shopping-carts between people rule? Hardly anyone does it except at the check-out counter where checkers refuse to continue until a too-close second person backs away.
It's frustrating. In the apartment complex where she lives, Crabby spends a lot of time stepping off the pathways to avoid other residents not wearing masks on her way to and from the mail box and trash bins.
WHO IS MOST AT RISK?
At first, they said old people and those with compromised immune systems were most in danger of infection and death. Then some little kids became seriously ill and some have died.
There are some new reports that younger adults, age 20 to 40 are now considered equally susceptible to the virus but others maintain that it is still elders who are most at risk. Crabby has no idea what is correct.
Over last weekend, Crabby read several reports that current spikes in infection numbers are not the so-called “second wave” - that we're still in the first wave.
Then on Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the United States may not see a second wave in the fall and that the number of hospitalizations is more important than infection numbers in determining that. But as of Monday, it was reported that several states are running short of hospital beds.
So where are we? First wave? Second wave? Getting worse? Getting better? As far as Crabby Old Lady can tell from conflicting reports, there is no way to know.
OPENING THE ECONOMY
In the past couple of weeks, a whole bunch of states have allowed restaurants, hair salons, gyms, bars and other businesses where people congregate in close quarters to reopen under certain rules. The rules were broken as soon as the doors opened and the number of infections is skyrocketing.
Crabby could go on but it's repetitive. There is no one source of reliable information and as soon as one “expert” says XXX is so, some other “expert” says no, YYY is so. Is it any wonder Crabby is confused? How about you?
AN UNRELATED NOTE FROM RONNI
On Monday's post, quite a few of your responses repeated my “bugger that” comment. It is not a common phrase of mine and I suspect it reveals that I have been watching way too many old episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles.
“Bugger that” or “bugger all” is a favorite epithet of Hetty Lange, played by Linda Hunt, when she's pissed off.