Saturday, July 18, 2020

Still Safer at Home

Today is the 58th day of Safer at Home, Phase Two of North Carolina Governor Cooper's restrictions to help fight COVID-19 (and the 115th day of overall restrictions here.) On Tuesday, the governor extended Phase Two (which was supposed to expire July 17th) until at least August 7th. Many schools in our area are slated to reopen on August 17th, with most using a hybrid of in-person and online learning. It is somewhat ironic that parents cannot go work out in a gym, yet are expected to make their children ride buses and go to school.

The statistics are still very scary. In North Carolina we have 95,700 confirmed cases and 1,638 deaths. The United States overall has 3.68 million confirmed cases and 141,000 deaths, with the worldwide statistics being 14 million cases and 601,000 deaths. 

Cases among those aged 18-49 have dramatically increased, and now represent the most amount of cases in North Carolina. The governor put into place a mandatory mask order on June 26th hoping to curtail spread of the disease. The order requires people to wear a mask when inside or outside in public places when they cannot maintain a distance of 6 feet from one another. Children under 11 are exempted. (But they will be required to wear a mask in school - go figure.) 

My observation is that people are better about wearing masks since the mandate came out, but there are many folks who don't believe that masks make a difference. It is unfortunate that early on the CDC stated that only those who are sick should wear a mask. The non-believers cling to that, despite new studies that show wearing a mask protects the wearers as well as others around them. In countries where masks have been mandatory from the beginning of the pandemic, their case numbers have dropped dramatically. 

Then there's the segment of the population that claims their civil rights are being violated by requiring masks. When a business says no shoes, no shirt, no service, they comply with that. When told they can't smoke in certain areas, they comply with that. When told to wear a seat belt, most comply with that. So what is the big deal to don a mask? It is so selfish of them to buck this when lives are at stake. Of course we have no leadership at the top of this country to serve as an example of wearing masks in public.

Better Fit Face Mask
I believe masks will be part of our future for quite awhile. I found another pattern that calls itself the Better Fit Face Mask. You can find the link for it here. I tried making one for me using shoelaces and pony beads for the ear pieces, and a coffee bag tie for the inside nose piece. It fits so much better than any of my other mask, and was fairly easy to make. I made Jim one as well, and then made a second for myself. That way I don't have to wash masks as often. I ordered additional coffee bag ties online, and now need to locate more shoe strings. I think my family and friends will need additional masks as well.

It's hot, humid and I have to stay at home. Might as well be making masks, right?

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