The mask order is to go into effect at most businesses on Monday, and there are two big problems with this:
1.) Masks don't really block the virus, but the 'mask order' is going to make people feel so safe they will now be going about 'business as usual' everywhere.
2.( I have seen people wearing masks believe they do not need to social distance because they are wearing a mask. I've seen high risk elderly people congregating in a group of five just inches away from each other talking in Walmart aisles - all masked.. but feeling safe because of it.
Combine that with #1 and we end up basically back in the soup.
I know that the sickness is real. I truly think that is what smacked Mark and Esme down so hard in the middle of February. It fits all the symptoms they had and the doctors did tests and said that Esme had 'just a virus' and to take an antibiotic to control the sinus infection that came with it, so that it wouldn't dump snot into her lungs and make the effects of the virus worse. I think I might have had a mild reaction somewhere around the first of March when my throat was so cold and achey for several days.
So I don't think the whole thing is a hoax. But, I don't think the masks work the way people are believing with their heart and soul they are going to, either. We should continue to distance, wash our hands and go out for essential things and work.
I naturally distance myself from ANYONE wearing a mask - but that is not what I see from others. It is also honestly one reason why this bugs me... my 'alert' sensors are going to be going off for everyone - and I won't be able to communicate with half of them if I need to because I can't see their lips move behind a mask. I already just nod and smile at cashiers and 'do the routine' because I can't understand if they are asking me 'donate to children's hospital' (guessed) or 'dome rate a child's horse petal' If I know what I'm 'supposed' to hear it gets better, but sometimes it is just entirely unintelligible.
And yet, when the # of cases go up two weeks after this, it won't be blamed on the mask order. It will be 'it would have been so much worse without the mask order!'
And school? Well, Esme wants to go back. They just haven't said much at the district beyond the start date and the supply list - they are still arguing over the policies I guess. I do have a mask for her if she has to wear one. I'm not sure what her feelings are on it - she just wants to be back with her grade. She worries about what 'all' her friends got involved in over the summer, new skills, new friends, new goals. She wants to talk to them and do new things instead of what she has done the past four months. She has made a lot of new friends as well, through her Minecraft, voice acting online and animation... and she has 'come into her own' a little with this, having new goals and ambitions.
But, she is ready for a little more 'normal'.. and I know everyone is. I don't like 'the new normal' everyone is talking about. It frankly scares me a little to look at life being like that for the next twenty years or so... and not just for me, but for Esme growing up in that kind of world.
Leaving this here for posterity...