We’re all awaiting the day when the Stay-at-Home Order is lifted, and we can go do things outside the home. But what does this mean? We know the virus still exists because there are fresh cases and fresh deaths reported daily, over 1,500,000 and 99,000 respectively. To me this means that when I go out, I will go out carefully. I will stay away from sizeable groups of people and I will wear a mask for the next several months when I go outside. However, this does not mean everyone will do what I do.

     Will you wear a mask when you go out?

         Not everyone will wear a mask, in fact I think fewer than half the people I see in the grocery store these days are wearing masks. Some of these people are playing the odds as only about 2-10% of the people in a state are getting the virus. The problem with that thinking is that if you get the virus there are several days before you know you have it during which you are infecting others. If you are one of the younger generations, you are invincible, as I was at your age. But I suggest that your mother, your grandmother those people you might infect aren’t as invincible, so please wear your masks for a while when you are out.

     Will you only congregate only in small groups?

         There is a reason that they ask us to limit our gathering sizes. The bigger the group and closer you are together, the higher your chances of contracting the virus. This concept seems to have missed being heard. We see bars crowded, beaches packed and a disregard for the safety of you and others. The virus hasn’t gone away yet. We aren’t invincible. We need to exercise caution.

                  Will you practice Social Distancing?

         This will be the hardest one for me because I like the touch of another human. I enjoyed the shaking of hands when I met someone I knew and a quick hug from others. This may be a thing of the past as we go back to a more open time. The new normal will create more distancing naturally as more people keep working from home – no commute, offices will get smaller and meetings will more often occur remotely. The one thing we can be sure of is that this Pandemic will cause societal changes-some good, some bad.

    How to Stay Safe

         I am not surprised that many people aren’t listening to the message of how to stay safe as we reopen our society. Our government hasn’t been clear or consistent in their messaging on this issue. The leadership has continuously said one thing and practiced another. And as we did when we were growing up, if we got mixed messages, we did whatever we wanted. The problem with this is that the more we ignore these commonsense actions, the more people die. I remember how relieved I was as the models kept predicting fewer and fewer deaths from the virus. But that is no longer the case. As we no longer follow the guidance of wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and gathering only in small groups, the death rate is rising again and will soon surpass 100,000.

Remember what Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Another quote from Ayn Rand bears some thought, “we can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.”