It beats me, we haven’t beaten Covid yet. Everybody but everybody has a remedy for it, and most of them who have found one, call me up to suggest how they’re beating the virus, “Have a hot water bath every two hours!” says a friend.
“But that will lead to a water shortage!” I tell him.
“Well you don’t have to use the whole tub Bob, I mean we are talking about every two hours, so just take a mug of water and sprinkle all over yourself!”
“But that’s not a bath!” I shout.
“Who’s to know!” grins the friend, “As far as you’re concerned you’ve had a bath five times a day!”
Laugh as you may, this is exactly how we are treating this killer disease.
The mask is no more a protection, it is just a symbol of being protected. The mask wearer now uses his mask in the same way some bikers wear their helmets, without buckling them!
“How did he die?” ask his relatives, “He wore a helmet!”
And in the same way, our masks, sometimes slip below our noses and mouths when we speak, drive or a hundred other times.
“Bob, have you had a bath five times a day?”
“Yes” I say glibly, “Just sprinkling some water!”
“You’ll be fine, keep bathing!”
I wonder whether it is our minds we try to fool, “Listen, we had a bath every two hours, okay, so we’ll be fine!”
But I doubt the virus is convinced by these symbolic acts.
“There comes one with his mask below his face!” shouts a green monster ready to spring onto you. Our minds protest, “But you can’t, we have a mask!”
“Sure!” laughs the virus, “Keep hanging it round your neck like a mangalsutra, while we devour you!”
I have noticed this compromising has gone beyond reason. In the building where I live, two people have died of the virus, and two others have had the illness, but as if this isn’t enough of a warning, a contractor, who’s work had to stop work on the same building before the lockdown, now says, “I can’t guarantee if my men will wear a mask or not!”
Which means they won’t.
Does, he even realize, what he is saying is, “I am a compromiser, take it or leave it!”
If we want to beat the virus, we need to keep the same safeguards implemented during the lockdown. The lockdown has been lifted not because the virus is less dangerous, but because people needed to work to live, but if you can delay that work a bit, if you can stop compromising, then you may well win this war.
Otherwise, the vaccine may come in a few months and you won’t be around to take it, because you were fooled into the ‘sprinkle water on yourself’ compromise bath..!
Robert Clements is a newspaper columnist and author. He blogs at www.bobsbanter.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org