Saturday, August 1, 2020

On Covid Shaming

I have not mentioned this on the blog much, but this whole move with the backdrop of Covid has of course made it even more stressful. I did everything in my power for four months to stay safe hunkering down in my home, but realized I was not safe there in any way shape or form because of GG. So house hunting, home inspection, closing, and home reno was stressful enough interacting with others in and out of my new home. But this past week, add to the mix dealing with six police officers, all sans masks, and movers, Comcast, and home security.

Then yesterday I decided to get my hair done and go to Costco since I actually have to eat and have no food here, and I get a nasty comment that I did not publish about how I am being irresponsible.

My hairdresser is a single mother of two. Her kids are going back to school because she has no financial option. She shared yesterday that a customer of hers responded very negatively that she will not be keeping her children home and the customer would not be returning. Wow.

Let me offer a few things from my perspective. We each need to choose how to live our lives in a socially responsible manner. I wear a mask 100% of the time I am in public. I wear a mask in my home if a worker is here. I have not been in a restaurant since March, nor a bar or movie theater. I grocery shop once a week and only at stores like Costco and Publix that require masks, sanitize carts, etc. etc. When I meet neighbors here, we have been outdoors and 15 or 20 feet apart. The Happy Hours here are in a driveway outdoors with chairs 6 feet apart.

BUT, I choose to go to HomeGoods one time a week and I wear a mask. I get my hair done once a month - my stylist has left her salon with other stylists and has her own place and we are the only people there and we are both masked. And at my nail salon everyone has masks, gloves, and there are plexiglass dividers. It is a huge space, and they space appointments far apart and I am usually the only customer. I need this self care for myself and I am supporting two small businesses of people I care about, each with young kids to support.

This pandemic is not going away IMHO. This will be our lives for a very very long time. Each of us has to make decisions for ourselves and our families about how to live. If my leaving my house a handful of times a month for non critical things offends you, so be it. I have ZERO health problems, I wear a mask in public always, and have hand sanitizer everywhere that I use all the time. Stop trying to shame me and for God's sake not folks like my hair stylist who is the sole support for her family. It would not be safe for her family if the kids were home schooled but they we are homeless and hungry either.

Well, I got that off my chest. I think each of us has to decide what is right for us. I do not mean this to include not wearing masks and pretending this does not exist. But I think this is a balancing act. I have a friend back in NOVA who is a divorced single older guy. He has not seen his children or grandchildren, he has all his groceries delivered, he only goes out for walks at night. And he is a very social person. IMHO he will be physically ok but not mentally. But as I said, let's try to support the path each of us chooses to navigate these insane times we live in, provided we are being socially responsible with masks and social distancing. This is not school. There is not only one right answer.


59 comments:

  1. I agree with your observations. There are always people who treat others badly which is sad.If we would only treat others as we would like to be treated the world would be a very different place.
    Blessings,
    Michelle

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  2. Thank you for posting this. At this point in my life I’m very fortunate to be retired and finically okay. There were many days as a single mother living paycheck to paycheck. I can’t even imagine having to wonder if I would be able to feed and shelter my children. People that judge others need to walk that mile in their shoes.

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  3. Well, SHIT! After so much of it has hit your fan, you need this how? Over and over you have proven yourself to be an intelligent, informed, strong beyond belief, caring human being. I spent 13 years doing public relations and fundraising for a mental health center. I have learned to have a great deal of respect for what normal looking, behaving in an acceptable manner with the world outside who go home to beat and abuse in all manner of ways their partner and children. During lockdown, there was always the fear that many women and children would be trapped at home with their abusers. You were. I was not. I worry about your safety in the time of Covid because you have to do everything for yourself. However, I recognize that you will do what you need to do to be safe and well. Yes,to always wearing a mask. Which you do. To hand sanitizers. Which you do. To safe social distancing. Which you do. To making informed decisions about what type of activity is worth the risk. Which you do. To care about others in a charitable way, to be of assistance where you can. Which you do. To the Letter Writer with the shaming attitude, I suggest she walk a mile in your stilettos and get back to you about what taking steps to be safe in your own home looks like. Got that off my chest, girlfriend!

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    1. I hope you know that your comments are always a bright spot in my day. Many many thanks.

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  4. My husband and I are visiting our daughter and son in law who live in another state. They have worked from home since March. We drove. We are also looking to buy a home in their state. We are not going to restaurants or any other form of shopping. We are meeting with a real estate agent who will drive in her car while we follow in our car. When we are out we wear masks. We are being careful and I think responsible in our efforts to keep healthy. I hope we can make the move this year. I think we can be careful and still plan ahead.

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    1. You are doing everything right. We can't put our lives on hold forever. Best of luck on your move.

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  5. Five stars. Again.

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  6. Amen! The dangers of this pandemic are not just physical. I actually know a 29 year old young woman who struggled with depression since her teens. She had finally got her life together, started studying to become a nurse while working full time. In late May she took her life. The loss of her job, cancelling of her classes and inability to travel to see her parents and much adored grandmother was just too much for her. She could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Emotional and mental wellness are just as important if not more than physical.

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    1. Yes, I have put myself at some risk moving, but not as much risk as staying there. There are all types of wellness as you said. Such a tragedy about your friend. So sorry.

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  7. The levels of bullying and cancel culture have risen immensely during this pandemic. Social media posting while hiding behind a computer screen feeling over-empowered along with intolerance of other’s opinions that differ from our own are insufferable. As a country, I feel we have lost our civility and moral compass. We need to show grace. I am so glad you got moved and are safe. Enjoy your new chapter!

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    1. Such a spot on comment in every way. The divide in this country is mind boggling and the lack of civility is distressing.

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    2. Amen!!! So... wish people would worry about themselves. Unfortunately they’d rather point out everything everyone else Is doing wrong.
      It reminds me of the Bible verse why do you look @ the speck in your brothers eye and pay no attention to the PLANK in your own eye?
      I’m so happy for you to escape an abusive relationship. You deserve love kindness and happiness. Blessings to you. Try to rise above negative peopleπŸ’ž

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  8. I'll tell you one thing, I am not wearing any damned goggles. Wearing a mask is really tough for me, I feel as though I'm suffocating (deviated septum from broken nose) + I'm claustrophobic. We're estranged from our son because of Covid. It all sucks. So if we can find some joy in life by going to Home Goods & the salon,good for us. Schools need to reopen & I feel comfortable eating at restaurants outdoors. There is something to be said about healthy mental health. We wear masks, use hand sanitizers & wash our hands 20x a day. But, sorry no goggles for this girl. Cheers! πŸ’šπŸ₯‚πŸ’š

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    1. I can relate. I too am claustrophobic. We all need to find a safe and humane balance.

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  9. Even when we have a vaccine, and the lockdowns are over, the effects will last thru our lifetimes. It will take the economy years to recover, children will have lost ground in their educations, and the effects of fear and isolation will linger.
    I have the utmost compassion for those who have had to go back to work to support families. It is a dreadful choice to make; safety or food on the table. Trader Joe's is doing a fabulous job. They have set up marquees for those waiting, so you don't stand in the hot sun or rain, and they allow a limited number in the store, which has one way aisles.
    What does not set well with me is seeing , on TV, beaches with huge crowds, no masks, and bars with hoards of happy drinkers, so close that they are hip-bumping. How selfish and irresponsible is that ?
    Keep doing what you are doing and above all, stay safe.

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    1. I am so glad you mentioned Trader Joe's. My daughter works for TJ, and they are a wonderful company and have shown sensitivity to their employees and customers. Bravo.

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  10. First, congratulations on your new home. Second, you are a very brave woman. My hope and prayer is that your life forward will be overflowing with joy, peace, kindness, happiness and freedom. To me, the saddest part of the COVID crisis...second to the actual virus...is the way humanity has responded. Instead of a uniting of human persons and kindness...we are turning away from each other in fear and just plain meanness. I appreciate your perspective and I thank you for living and moving about in society in a safe and thoughtful manner. I’m a huge advocate for masks, sanitizers and appropriate social distancing. It seems a very simple ask to save humanity. May your life going forward be a time of health and beauty,

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    1. What a lovely comment. Thank you so much. If we are alive but have lost our humanity, what indeed is the point.

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  11. You wear a mask, sanitize your hands, keep social distancing, don't eat in restaurants, go to personal care establishments that follow protocol and stores that actually respect what is right. Gee...and the problem is?? We need to be smart but we also need to have safe interaction-you are so right-this thing is here to stay for awhile and we have to learn to cope intelligently and humanly. Hang in there and enjoy your beautiful new home. Waiting here in Jupiter for the hurricane to pass and still so grateful to be here.

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  12. I'm sorry you were on the receiving end of a nasty comment, but given the manner in which people behave now days, it doesn't really surprise me. It seems as though civility and politeness should be made mandatory, along with wearing masks and maintaining a physical distance. Thank you for posting this, Beth. I agree that we can't go on indefinitely putting the entire world on pause. We are all going to have to find a way to live our lives as normally and responsibly as possible and take necessary precautions. After four months, my hairdresser contacted me and asked if I wanted to keep an upcoming appointment. She was out of money and had no other choice but to work. I kept the appointment. She took all the necessary precautions; got tested, wore a plastic visor and mask, only allowed one person at a time in the salon, and kept the doors and windows open.

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  13. I agree with you on every point Beth, and it's how I've lived my life here in NYC. I never stopped from day 1 (4 mo ago) going to grocery stores, drug stores, UPS, and long walks in the park with gazillion other people. I always wear a mask and early on, gloves as well. And only last weekend for the first time since March we sat outside in a restaurant and had a proper lunch, wine and all. I felt like a human being again.

    I can't make people do what they're supposed to do (distance and wear a mask) but I am doing what I think is right. I compensate for others' shortfalls instead of preaching to them in the hopes of shaming them into being considerate because that never works and it's not my MO.

    We all have to evaluate our own risk/benefit tolerance for everything we do now and act accordingly. Above all, we need to educate ourselves from proper, legitimate sources so that we can have some peace of mind that our decisions are based on facts and actual evidence not fiction.

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    1. All so well said, thank you. I have a funny story. I bought two large bottles recently of hand sanitizer that were made at a distillery - many are doing it. Every time I sanitize my hands I feel like I am in a distillery with those wonderful yeast smells - I did the Kentucky Bourbon Trail a couple of years ago.

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  14. Great post! Every adult has the option to make their own choices to stay safe while meeting their needs. You have been courageous and strong dealing with all you have in this time which is trying without dealing with GG’s bullying behavior. You have accomplished so much. You rock! I. This world there are plenty of naysayers. We can choose not to listen to their negativity.

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    1. I completely agree. We each need to find a balance for ourselves and our loved ones in these crazy times.

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  15. 100% agree with you. I got my hair and nails done this week. Everyone wore mask and observed all the rules plus lots of hand sanitizer. There are no easy clear cut answers in a one size fits all. It's important to stop judging each other until we have walked in someone else's shoes. We each need to take care of ourselves and family as best as we can.

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  16. So many like to tell others how to live,and what is right. I am not sure there is a document telling us exactly what is correct. I have noticed how often it changes too. I agree there are so many people trying to feed their familes,like hair stylists,contractors, nail techs etc How lovely to judge when we have incomes coming in that they should not be able to earn a living. The world of facebook has certainly caused many to publicly judge others. Thank you for supporting small Business. Beth,I am glad things are going well for you now,enjoy these moments. You certainly deserve them.

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    1. I so agree, I am not going to hide in my house and finally emerge to a world devoid of all the businesses and activities I love.

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  17. Kudos to you. One of my greatest joys was having lunch out in lovely places...that's been gone, along with everything else since March. I am like you; I go to the grocery store once a week at 6:00 am during "senior hour". Not much life yet but better to be bored than dead. I am so grateful because I'm not facing the financial ruin that so many are. However, my mental state is greatly upset - I am very angry that many Americans have chosen to make a health crisis a political issue. So many deaths and our economy destroyed needlessly...this will not be something that the country easily recovers from.

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  18. You are so correct. Everybody is different. A very outgoing elderly well-heeled, well known and much loved widow in my hometown who lived in a senior living facility died recently and the general opinion was that it was from the way those facilities are handling the Coronavirus, Instead of leaving their apartments to go to the common areas, the beauty salon or exit the building for their cars, they were forced to stay in their apartment and all meals were handed in their doors on trays. What started out as an attempt to keep people “safe” might work for some but not for all. After a period of time a hairdresser was finally allowed to enter each apartment to do shampoos and haircuts. If this was was how the blue-blooded crowd was treated, I cannot imagine the treatment at the low end nursing homes...all in the name of “safety.”

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    1. Yes, I worry so much about the psychological impact of this isolation on all of us - seniors, kids, single people, women and children in homes with abusers - truly sad.

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  19. Off topic: I'm glad you got your nails all pretty for Happy Hour In The Neighbor's Driveway tonight. I had a funny thought that everyone in the neighborhood has texted their unattached gentlemen friends to alert them that a brilliant, unattached, gorgeous, fierce lady has just moved to town. I hope you're prepared for the bright light of lavish attention because it is surely going to be shining on YOU! Are pups invited, too? Signed, Nosy In North Florida looking forward to Happy Hour [rather than checking NOAA to see how far the hurricane is from my back door]! xo

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  20. Stay safe. We are monitoring the hurricane situation long distance and had all the outdoor furniture moved into the garage by our wonderful house watcher. But, I digress. Amen to everything you have written. My manicurist and hairdresser have adopted very strict protocols and I feel safe in both salons. Otherwise, we limit going out to the grocery store and our club. We have eaten in a restaurant (outdoors at Morton’s with distancing, etc) only once but honestly not worth the anxiety. My husband the surgeon does go to work, with protocols in place and I am working from home almost exclusively. I belong to a restaurant group on Facebook and have been stunned by all the nasty comments that diners should not report violations of the law or, in essence, stay home and drop dead. The absence of civil discourse is extremely disturbing. Similarly, I saw a group of NYPD officers walking together on Thursday unmasked. Yes, it’s uncomfortable but yes, it’s essential to protect oneself and others. If that is what it takes, it is a small sacrifice. The larger sacrifice is not being able to see loved ones except on Zoom. The anxiety about whether the virus will catch up to us despite our precautions in palpable and I agree that this sense of vulnerability will endure long after there is a vaccine.

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    1. The saddest part of all of this is that the world as we know it will never ever be the same. And we are in this for the long haul, years more, not months. Sobering and depressing. I am a news and politics junky and instead of the conventions and the upcoming election, we are in the middle of this. Hard to wrap ones head around. I hope Boca stays safe - I had so many wonderful times there with my late husband.

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  21. Please follow common sense safety precautions and Please do everything you can to support small local businesses. We are all intelligent people and we can figure out socially responsible ways to support beauty salons, craftspeople, artists and repair people. And don't forget teachers and medical professionals. The tragedy as great as the pandemic is waking up in a world without these creative and caring individuals.

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    1. Bravo my friend. We can find a safe way to navigate this and live our lives or what is the point. My manicurist at my salon has a 3 year old and a 6 year old at home to feed. My hairstylist is a single mother with two kids as I discussed. Stay at home if you choose, but I am smart enough to support the businesses I care about and engage in self care and do it safely.

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  22. While I'm enjoying the thought of you at Happy Hour, let me add that I came up in a "call out" family like this; ie, if one doesn't frame up his/her statements to include every possible/arguable PC contingency, then POUNCE! and you're on the defensive ropes. Some folks sharpen repertoires given this backdrop. Me, I find it tiresome, a waste of my time/intelligence, a call for retreat. How in the world have so many people taken call-out culture to the extreme that "If you don't stand up for/call out against what you believe, then you're nothing." I think this is what you're advocating against, Beth; IOW live and let live [intelligently]. PO'd in NoFL.

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    1. I agree with you. My experience here so far is that controversial discussions are off the table - everyone is just trying to relax and have fun. When I was growing up, politics, money, and religion were not brought up with company. Not a bad rule.

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  23. I have so many friends who have small businesses. They and their staffs want to get back to work..Luckily in NH, we are opening up, although there is still questions about the schools.. Parents I have spoken to are all for school opening: they fear their children are missing out on not only their education, but socialization.

    Look, I lost a dear friend to this insidious disease who would've beat it if he didn't have other medical problems... I know it can kill.BUT I am tired, so tired of living in fear.. I want to take my mask off... There, I said it.. So shoot me.
    We can't live in fear. This will be with us, so is the flu and many other diseases.. There will be a vaccine, and hopefully we will be able to get back to normal. And those people who take it upon themselves to lecture others should mind their own business...

    See what you've started? ;)lol

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    1. It is such a complicated situation - the economic and psychological impacts are as devastating as the disease. I agree we have to find a way to live and work safely because we are in this for years more, not months.

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  24. As of today my state in Australia is in complete lock down - Stage 4.
    We can only go out for shopping of food, chemist , doctors. It will go on for 6 weeks.
    Only one person in your house can go out to the shops once a day.
    Police will be out and huge fines.
    We can only shop within 5 kilometres of our house.
    We need to get the numbers down before it gets out of hand.
    I just hope there will be a vaccine soon.

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    1. I am so sorry. Just terrible. But better to get things under control than the situation we are in here in the U.S. Take good care.

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  25. THank you for that. Wise and sensible.

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  26. You are doing the right thing Beth. Try not to worry and enjoy your new home!

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