Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
I set out for a drive two days ago.
I woke up in Clarion, Pennsylvania today, its a small college town near the border of Ohio.
Yesterday I woke up in Meyerville, Indiana. I started my trip in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and I will be New York City this afternoon.
I am being very cautious, practicing my social distancing, wearing my mask when I get out of the car, talk to hotel staff, go into the gas station, or even if I don’t go in, if I just fill up at the pump, I wash my hands, use wet wipes and try to keep things clean.
I have not seen a lot of people wearing masks.
There have been signs asking for people to practice social distancing, I have seen greater and lesser degrees of compliance with that but in the Holiday Inn’s wear I have stayed the night. The front desk staff were not masked, and I saw guests violating the social distancing rules with them, when they did there was no attempt at correction.
The greatest degree of compliance I have seen has come from people working in national chains, I have been to the drive through at three Star Bucks and one DQ, Masks were in use there, but not at the Holiday Inn’s, the Kwik Trips, or the Marathon gas stations I have been to.
I have seen only a few other people, like me, wearing masks conscientiously.
I took the Interstate from Minneapolis to the Port of Milwaukee, I was thinking of taking the ferry across Lake Michigan, but the timing wasn’t right.
I planned my route from their to avoid highways and toll ways and that took me on a slow drive from Milwaukee through Chicago, to Meryerville, Indiana.
I drove through Waukegan, Illinois past the Naval Station where I went to Boot Camp and attended Hospital Corps School. Then I through the wealthy suburbs North of Chicago, which gave me the feeling like I was in a John Hughes movie.
Pretty quickly after that I was driving through the ethnic neighborhoods of Chicago itself: Puerto Rican, Polish, Italian, and finally the South Side. It was stop and go traffic through the city, and nobody I saw, whether on the street in alongside me in a car was wearing a mask.
I get it, they are uncomfortable, and I wasn’t wearing mine in my car when I was driving, but what is happening here. Wearing a mask is a simple thing. It will work to protect you and protect others from you if you are infected.
It is uncomfortable, but it is easy.
I took back roads all the way through Indiana and Ohio, up until I passed through Akron, and got to Pennsylvania, in those places, which is trump country, I actually did experience hostility from folks because I was wearing a mask.
Dirty looks and sneers is what I was treated to. Nobody said anything to me, I’m too big for that but this is out of hand. Two hundred thousand Americans will have died from the COVID-19 by Labor Day, with no end in sight.
The ridiculous buffoon we have in occupying the oval office, the Fake President, is doing everything he can to undermine public health to fit his own misguided political narrative, and his vanity.
Instead of treating the virus as the enemy and rallying the people to fight it, he has treated public health administrators and science as the enemy and has rallied his base to work against their best advice.
It will have deadly consequences.