ON A PERSONAL NOTE/By Maramis
This year seems to be going a lot faster than last year, but long about now — June 9, 2021 — we’re actually starting to look a little more normal out there in public. Many people are leaving their masks at home, or in their pockets, or their cars, and people in stores are stopping to say hello again, without any regard for that somewhat silly six-foot people-spacing barrier.
While I’m a big fan of not exposing myself to people with colds, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, or even those close encounters with their moist and boisterous talking or laughter, I really don’t think my wearing a little 2-layer mask would have saved me from all those moist moments in which two or more of their germs would have jumped from the offender’s face mask over to mine, causing me to immediately catch whatever was going around. But whether or not my little mask really did save me from the reason I was “forced” to wear it wherever I went, it might have saved me from some of those lesser germs that were always around long before we were put in the position of having to wear those masks, whether we wanted to or not.
Case in point: During all those years that we’ve lived through, we’ve always had a Flu Season, every year, and I never wore a mask even once and I never once caught the flu.
Then there was the time I had pneumonia as a child. Back in those days, the doctor came to the house, diagnosed the child and told the
mother how to take care of her right there, at home. The treatment back then was to put the child in what was called a croup tent, give
her plenty of fluids and tend to her comfort. The one thing I remember most about that illness of mine was my extreme bouts of coughing. I coughed so much that my father couldn’t get any sleep. But he did not catch my pneumonia, nor did any of the other three people living in our relatively small apartment.
There was no way to isolate me and my germs, yet even being in the same room with me, or needing to pass through my room (we lived in what was called a railroad apartment), not a single soul ever picked up my germs.
I once heard someone say (and I don’t know if they were joking or not) that a hospital is not the place for a sick person. I can see the
wisdom in that and in many cases that might well be true, but I also — again, from my personal experience — know that sometimes it’s the best place to be, like when your appendix bursts. There just is no home remedy for that!
But we went through two winters already with the pandemic hanging over our heads, and two springs, and now we’re heading into summer, and it looks very promising to be a real summer, the kind with lots of outdoor activity (when we can stand the heat), and maybe trips to the beach or the lake or the water parks or indoor pool. It looks like visiting our friends again will be on the agenda, and we can pick up where we left off with visiting our favorite restaurants, if indeed they are still in business and haven’t been forced to permanently close.
Sadly, we know that several of the places we used to frequent are no longer there, but maybe some new ones will sprout up if they can get one of those small business loans that seem to be available.
But even if this summer is not quite ready for us, we can be getting ourselves ready for it. We can take it one day at a time, as we must
do anyway, and start enjoying the summer flowers that have been practicing for their debut all spring long and already are dancing on
many of our trees and bushes. I love to see the lilacs in our backyard and the roses all over our property, but even as lovely as they are,
to see the faces of people again is even a somewhat brighter sight. I hope with all my heart that we will never have to go back to covering
up our faces and staying 6 feet away from each other!
The summer of 2021 is almost upon us. Let’s make the most of it and greet it like happy children planning what to do with their summer
vacation — but maybe this year it’ll be somewhat different for the children who will be hoping to be reunited with their friends again by
going to school, instead of being on vacation, since they’ve probably had enough of being out of school all these many long months.
We learn to appreciate what we have been deprived of, even if it is work or school; and I think if nothing else, this unexpected pandemic
that was thrust upon us has made us all realize the blessings we have, even the very small joys and pleasures that we were able to keep
during these trying times.
Weather-wise, I love fall best of all; but summer is the heart of life and there is no substitute for seeing things grow, whether green, red,
or purple, or whatever color they were given to be. And no matter how fancy, intricate, or well-made, there isn’t a mask (face covering) in the world that can compete with seeing one’s actual face, and sharing the sweetness of a human smile.
May we all revel in the coming summer by staying well and reactivating the activities that for so many months have been off-limits to us.
Start practicing, and get ready, because summer is only 12 days away!
* * * * *
Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.