Writing in the time of COVID-19: Day Twenty-Eight

Costco still doesn’t have toilet paper. But, at least, there wasn’t a line to get in the store, as there was two-and-a-half weeks ago when I went.

But let’s talk about masks. Everyone is wearing them. It’s a mandate by the mayor and encouraged by our governor when in public, and everyone is complying. Homemade ones appeared, seemingly overnight like mushrooms after a rain, and many feature Hawaiiana prints. They’re quite colorful. Then, there was the family in line behind me; theirs were black and biker-oriented. I can’t even say exactly how I deduced that. Maybe because they reminded me of what I’ve seen some motorcyclists wear to keep from inhaling exhaust fumes and bugs.

It seems your choice of face mask reflects who you are in the way an automobile does. It can also tip your hand at your career. I saw many masks a la the construction industry—dry wall sanding respirators, the scary militaristic kind used by painters, and, of course, the surgical kind. There were bandanas used as face masks. Neck gaiters and buffs used as face masks. So many face masks.

IMG_4895A friend texted this to me, knowing my penchant in my younger days for stalking The Rolling Stones.

IMG_4820And I saw this one on Facebook that made me laugh.

We all talk about how this event is going to change our world. Here’s one prediction: I think face masks will become the new travel staple. It won’t be weird anymore to walk through an airport wearing a face mask. We won’t feel silly wearing a face mask in public ever again.

But we’re not all quite there.

When I left Costco, there was a guy in the parking lot unloading his wagon. As he got in his car, he took off his mask and hesitated. I could tell he wanted to say something. Finally, he did. “I feel so weird wearing this,” he said as I rolled by with my overloaded shopping cart. “I can’t tell if anyone is smiling at me or about to punch me.”

I know what he means. In the store, I found myself either looking longer at people in the eye, trying to be friendly, or just ignoring them altogether.

Maybe we need to take a lesson from animals and learn to become better readers of body language. I suspect women already possess this skill. We can identify a a saunter from a threatening walk. An open arm welcome from a closed fist.

Hopefully, this mask wearing won’t make us less friendly in public. Hopefully, we’ll find other ways to greet people. Maybe we’ll take a cue from our mayor and practice more shaka greetings.

Hawaii nudged up to 533 cases today; Kauai is still at 21. However, the governor stepped up safety measures, closing beaches to sitting, standing, lounging, lying down, sunbathing, and loitering. He cracked down on boating, fishing, and hiking activities, as well, basically limiting the size of groups to a household or two people max. Group hiking is banned. A pair can hike, as long as, they maintain a distance of not less than 20 feet apart from each other. Surfing, paddling, and swimming is still okay, as long as you don’t meander en route to the water and only if you practice social distancing while in the water.

Be well. Be sane.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Just wanted to send a quick note saying how much I enjoy your posts since liking them on the site doesn’t look like it’s going thru. Anyway, they are a nice lift daily and fill in some info gaps I’m otherwise missing in my relatively low tech life. Stay well, indeed, Molly

    On Friday, April 17, 2020, Kim Steutermann Rogers wrote:

    > Kim Steutermann Rogers posted: “Costco still doesn’t have toilet paper. > But, at least, there wasn’t a line to get in the store, as there was > two-and-a-half weeks ago when I went. But let’s talk about masks. Everyone > is wearing them. It’s a mandate by the mayor and encouraged by our gov” >

    Like

    1. Kim Steutermann Rogers says:

      Thanks, Molly. Nice to hear from you. I have been receiving emails when you “like” a post, and I appreciate it. Be well and thanks for reading. Very kind of you.

      Like

  2. Anne C. says:

    Ha ha, the horse!!!! David’s and my masks are nice and colorful and make me happy. (I do try to smile with my eyes when I’m wearing mine.) Most people here still aren’t wearing them, but I do see more and more.

    Like

    1. Kim Steutermann Rogers says:

      The horse, right? A little humor is good.

      Like

  3. Connie Bishop says:

    I agree about the masks!

    A new kind of Normal.

    LOVE and hugs to you both!

    Connie

    On Sat, Apr 18, 2020, 12:34 AM Kim Steutermann Rogers wrote:

    > Kim Steutermann Rogers posted: “Costco still doesn’t have toilet paper. > But, at least, there wasn’t a line to get in the store, as there was > two-and-a-half weeks ago when I went. But let’s talk about masks. Everyone > is wearing them. It’s a mandate by the mayor and encouraged by our gov” >

    Like

    1. Kim Steutermann Rogers says:

      Love and hugs back to you and the boys, Connie!

      Like

  4. diane tilley says:

    Before I left on the last West Jet plane out of Kauai to Canada, my soninlaw gave me one of his painter masks for the plane – worked well but he had spiffed it up by drawing big teeth on the bottom of it. It made people laugh. I see that Hawaii is now on the list of states being allowed to reopen – as decreed by the King. I certainly hope they dont do that or you will be overrun with visitors again. Way too soon.

    Like

    1. Kim Steutermann Rogers says:

      Humor is good right now, Diane;-) Our state seems to be doubling down right now, not loosening up. Agree, way too soon to be loosening restrictions.

      Like

  5. Dana Wilke says:

    Thanks Kim! I agree about masks being the new normal. I attempted making mask and it was a disaster, then I remembered a got a D in sewing in home ec. Reading your articles has become one of my rituals.

    Like

    1. Kim Steutermann Rogers says:

      Oh, high school home economics class. I remember making a corduroy dress. I’m not sure I ever wore it! Thanks for reading, Dana. Rituals are good, I’m told, during these strange times. Be well!

      Like

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