Risk Is Not Just You

In the great American spirit of independence, some people have come up with an extremely crappy interpretation of security measures in a pandemic. It goes something like this: “ I feel safe doing this. If you don’t, you must stay at home. “

This selfish approach is often used when someone demands that the bars reopen, or insists that masks be optional in places where they accidentally want to go without them. Note that in doing so, these assholes are asking other people to take risks for their own benefit. They ask the bartenders and waiters to get back to work so they can enjoy the drink without bringing it home in a plastic cup. They ask employees and other shoppers to put themselves at additional risk so they can walk around the store without a piece of cloth covering their face.

But the whole idea of ​​a pandemic is that it is spreading . So it’s not just you. Maybe I decided that I was young, healthy and not afraid of contracting COVID. (That would be a stupid decision on my part, but let’s just say it’s my choice.) If I act carelessly, I could get an infection.

And by continuing to act carelessly, I can pass this infection on to my elderly, high-risk parents. Or I might give it to the cashier at the grocery store who may not have health insurance. And, perhaps, this person, even before he knows that he is sick, will pass it on to a couple of other buyers. Maybe I’ll pass this on to my kids, who will pass it on to their teachers or classmates (if schools can reopen before we get the vaccine), who then continue to infect their family members.

Wearing a mask protects other people from you at least a little, but all the other things that help in a pandemic, how to stay at home as much as possible, and stop you from ever becoming a link in a chain that leads from someone with infection to someone someone who could die or suffer long-term consequences .

Protection from infection is not the only goal of security measures; it is taking oneself out of this potential chain of transmission. If a group of people comes together, without masks, they endanger not only themselves, but everyone with whom they will interact later.

Worry only about yourself? This is not true. Pandemics are a threat because we are all connected to each other in the first place. Nobody will go alone.

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