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The Daily Dishtowel - 2

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

There are three flats on our corridor, two occupied but the third one is empty - tenants moved out and we don't know if it's been let again or if they're having trouble finding renters. Meanwhile, our floor is quiet, which is a plus to my way of thinking. Across the hall from me is a single woman who is even more cautious about self-isolation than I am.

The neighbor and I take a walk every day, usually about a mile- to a mile-and-a-half. We chatter away like magpies (this shows where social isolation will get you) about having Skyped with our kids (mine are in the States, hers is in Spain), about the latest news (Boris Johnson has been moved to intensive care - scary in several ways), about what's happening around us (bus service has been severely curtailed, though for now, there's nowhere to go, and who'd want to ride a bus?).

But we also talk about the trees that are in bloom, and the various birds, and today how blue the sky is, giving the lie to "It always rains in England." I'm here to say "Often, but not always."

One of my cousins posted pictures yesterday of masks she has sewn for her family. She let them each choose a fabric from her stash. Her youngest, who is four, chose a Christmas print. Well, what the hey, it's pretty and colorful, sprigged with holly berries, so why not?

I read a comment from a doctor who said "The only genuinely preventive mask that is 90% effective against transmission of the virus is a top-grade medical mask, expensive, difficult to find, and which should be reserved for hospitals and medical personnel. But everyone should wear masks outside their homes: a cloth mask is not very effective against virus reaching you, but can be extremely effective to prevent you passing it along if you are contagious but asymptomatic. Your mask doesn't protect you - it protects ME. And mine doesn't protect me, but it protects YOU. If you have to go out, wear a mask!"

I decided to do a brief Google search. As we've all heard, it's just a little over a century since the great flu epidemic (which I suppose by rights was a "pandemic") of 1918. I was aware of it, but hadn't realized how prevalent masks were until Google began turning up all sorts of photographs:

So I thought I'd join the chorus. Masks: buy one - make one - get one - WEAR ONE.

Carpe diem, people. Time is fleeting.
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