Well, it was nice to be maskless for a couple of weeks. I enjoyed the feeling of normalcy when I went into stores or coffee shops.
But today I looked like this while shopping at Trader Joe's, Fred Meyer, and LifeSource. I was carrying my mask when I walked into Trader Joe's, my first stop.
For a few seconds I was uncertain whether to mask up.
Then I put my mask on, because that felt like the right thing to do. I had plenty of company. Around a third of Trader Joe's customers were wearing masks, young, old, and in-between, along with all of the employees.
This is what changed my mind about going maskless.
Nationally, Covid cases are rising rapidly, tripling in the past few weeks.
The Delta variant has become the most common strain in the United States. It's much nastier than original Covid, which was bad enough.
Yes, I'm fully vaccinated. However, I've seen reports that even if vaccinated people contact the Delta Covid variant and have no symptoms, they can still suffer from "long haul" Covid with long-lasting problems like brain fog.
At the age of 72 I don't want my mind to become any foggier than it already is.
So it seemed like a no-brainer, so to speak, to wear a mask while in indoor public spaces, since the mild inconvenience of doing this is well worth it if my chance of contacting the Delta variant is reduced.
I ended up in Rob Melton's (a.k.a. Rob Drinkenstein) checkout line at Trader Joe's.
When he asked me how my day was going, I said that I was wearing a mask in solidarity with store employees. And also, because I didn't want to get the Delta variant and have my brain fogged up.
What's irritating is how the pandemic is getting a new lease on its viral life because so many people are making the really bad decision to not get vaccinated. I realize that we're not supposed to shame them, but...
Jesus Fucking Christ, how stupid can you be if you buy into the anti-vaccine conspiracy theories on Fox News and refuse to get a totally free shot that not only could save you from being hospitalized or dying, but helps protect other people also?
(Answer: really damn stupid. If that irks unvaccinated folks, too bad. The truth is more important than your feelings.)
Today the Oregon Health Authority reported a marked increase in statewide Covid cases.
On July 10 the Delta variant only accounted for a small percentage of Oregon Covid cases. It'll be interesting to see if the next update shows an increase in the Delta variant.
Yes, we're fortunate that Oregon is a blue state with a high vaccination rate in comparison to the vaccine-resistant red states where people are buying into the conservative lie that freedom means never having to be vaccinated.
OK, if you believe that, keep in mind that being dead or in the hospital constrains your freedom vastly more.
Nationally 609,000 people have died from COVID-19, an astounding number. Here we are, on the brink of achieving herd immunity through a mix of the 34 million Covid cases in the United States and 49% of the population being fully vaccinated.
Yet way too many people are refusing to be vaccinated.
Dying from Covid at any time is horrible. Being one of the last people to die before herd immunity is reached is not only horrible, it is totally unnecessary -- because the vaccines are safe and effective, no matter what Tucker Carlson says.