Yesterday, walking to the beach, there were signs every 10 yards or so reminding us to wear masks. When we found our spot and settled, I moved ahead, shaking sand out of a towel until the wind didn’t blow it near our camp. I know sand is heavier than respiratory droplets, but it was still blowing sand at us from at least 20 feet away.
We tried to stay over that far away from others coming from that direction.
I have a lot of mixed feelings about masks. Like most people, I don’t prefer to wear them and I don’t when far away from others. But I also see the collective body of research pointing to wearing them to protect others.
For me, it is easy for me to have motivation to wear masks when I can tie it into loving others. So as I pass people, I wear a mask because in my mind, I want to protect them from the risks I’ve chosen to take that might have exposed our family to COVID-19.
But I still haven’t figured that out backwards.
You see, myself and my roommate are both high-risk. She has an autoimmune disease and asthma. I have breathing problems too. This was evidenced last year, by almost dying from a respiratory virus. I was strongly advised by doctors to please never get pneumonia again (I also had it as a child and almost died then too). As such, I still avoid groups, social distance, and ask for people to wear masks around me if we can’t stay far apart.
I hate this, because I am an extrovert. I hate this because I see people I know getting together and I am struck by FOMO. I hate being left out. It has affected many of my relationships and ways I lead. That is hard. I choose not to worry about getting sick, but I still have to make decisions about it how to proceed all the time, as it affects my everyday.
This post isn’t about what others should or shouldn’t do. It is about being in the in-between.
The struggle of staying connected, clearly communicating and not judging others when they make different choices than I would. Everything from personal theologies, culture, faith, living in wisdom and navigating laws comes into play.
So, if you are one of those people who aren’t concerned with this, I get your story is different. But this is why some of us are. It is where I am right now.
So tell me, how do you live in your values of staying connected right now, in this season? Is this a concern of yours or not so much?
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