Let the psychosis begin! On mask-shaming and respiratory droplet nightmares.


No, this is not about the president, title notwithstanding. Instead it’s about other behavioral aberrations that are nipping at us, though in truth I thought it was just me until I read some sympathetic articles these past few days. Let's deal with them individually

First off—stop shaming the maskless and gloveless among us.


Yesterday I left the house and drove to a store to purchase some lawn food so that when nobody comes to visit this summer, I can explain to them what they're missing. Of course when I say “purchase,” I mean the new definition—watch as the nice young lady places the bags in my trunk. But this isn’t about her...yet. It’s about two young people ambling through the parking lot, passing by others and wearing no protective equipment. My wife and I both commented on it, and while I won’t say we became furious, we both agreed that such monstrous behavior should at least involve serious prison time.


But punishment is not to be spoken of during this particular apocalypse. For this is the partisan apocalypse, where the president’s supporters believe little of what the scientists say (having been indoctrinated by their “fake news” master) and where any accession to the rules is considered a slap at the president. Thus, shaming a couple like that—even though I believe such behavior prolongs the crisis—accomplishes little other than to widen the chasm. Let it go.

On the other hand, since the nice young lady who brought me my order also wore no mask, perhaps a letter or phone call to the store would be in order—a suggestion that their employees be protected and that they protect others.


Second—more and more of my dreams involve respiratory droplets.


I tend to remember dreams, at least for a short time, but lately all of them have followed the same pattern—some gathering of people and the sudden realization that someone is standing close to me and that we are sharing air, and that in that air are somewhere between dozens and trillions of respiratory droplets, both large and small. (Sorry I couldn't narrow down that number.) Under the best of circumstances that would be offensive, but since scientists know so little about the spread of this coronavirus—if larger droplets are worse, or a lot of tiny ones equals a larger one, or a gradual accumulation of tiny ones wouldn’t matter anyway—well we just don’t know. Of course you may find this interesting, though you probably shouldn’t click on it unless you plan to remain 26 feet away from...well...everybody.


As Cinderella so eloquently sang, a dream is a wish your heart makes. Cinderella, of course, never had to listen to a 150-minute press briefing, disinfect her packages, or—even if she would have liked—remain 26 feet away from her evil step-sisters. Our dreams these days (and nights) are controlled more and more by our daytime fears and behavioral changes. It may be a little psychotic, but if it only occurs in garden-store parking lots and while we're asleep, we can probably handle it.



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