Facing Off with the Unmasked?

Red, pink and yellow tulips are boldly and beautifully dotting our local New England gardens.  Trees are bursting with apple and wild cherry blossoms. Green velvet has blanketed even the highest pastures on the hills.  Early morning birdsongs floated on a cool breeze through my bedroom window this morning. Teago’s General Store in Pomfret will soon reopen. An extensive renovation nearly completed. New beginnings. Spring. The most hopeful season.

A local accountant has garaged her Subaru for her spring ride. A broad smile and energetic wave greeted me on my run. My tardiness in changing out my snow tires mocked me this 60-degree morning. A month ago, I was clairvoyant as the snow fell this April. Today I am a procrastinator. By all accounts spring has finally arrived in Vermont. We think anyway. We northerners are “spring hesitant.” We are cautious to trust that Mother Nature won’t remind us once again that she is in charge and loves the essence of surprise. Snow in May? Unlikely but can’t be ruled out. Hesitancy…

What is all this talk about hesitancy? Consequences can be dire for “he who hesitates.” Vaccine hesitancy is in the news daily. The vaccine cautious.  Anti-vaxxers. Covid-19 disbelievers. Are they not risking the herd by not following it?  What about protecting the herd? Have they not heard of herd immunity? Did our grocery workers hesitate to serve the public while risking their own health and safety over the past many challenging months? Shouldn’t our medical workers be allowed to breathe easier after the many exhausting days, weeks and months of caring for us? Will our small retail business owners be facing off with patrons that refuse to cover theirs? Aren’t our children deserving of protection from the so called “adults in the room?” I know I will hesitate to take my vulnerable 8-month-old granddaughter anywhere that is dependent on trusting others to do the right thing.

Nothing has been more politized than mask wearing. Americans are polarized over a lifesaving accessory. Somehow a public health crisis has become political fodder. I wonder how comforting politics is when your loved one is dying via an iPhone?  How do we know others will play by the pandemic rules? Will we need to zig while others zag? Has the CDC sent us into a tailspin by dramatically relaxing the mask mandate? Are we now issuing “carte blanche” instead of vaccination cards? We can always look toward those that choose to navigate the unseemly world of securing a fake vaccination card. Expending energy to obtain ill-gotten goods while risking more innocent lives. Deception and denial are a very risky business. Hope they save up some of their energy for when they actually get Covid-19. I bet they won’t hesitate to get medical help then…

Are we further compromising an already compromised population? The immunosuppressed? Cancer patients? What about our very young population who are not eligible to be vaccinated currently? Months away at best. How will the CDC recommendation impact these vulnerable populations? Can’t we slow down this nor’easter of change? Yes, I understand we all like to get bread and milk in preparation for a big storm. But do we really need to clean the shelves out completely?



Author: Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. Elizabeth’s essays focus on life experiences and life in Vermont.

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