Living in Paradise

Hardware Store Dust-Up

Hardware Store Dust-Up

Apparently, there was a dust-up at the island hardware store about mask-wearing  the other day.

The story is that an island resident, a woman, entered the store and while shopping there asked either a worker or another patron to please put on a mask.

I’ve been in this store a couple of times and none of the workers wears a mask. Maybe it’s because most of the local tradespeople avoid wearing the protective gear and the hardware store wants to make sure its best customers feel welcome. That construction workers avoid masks was scary for me over the summer because we were remodeling. But we wore our masks when dealing with them and kept our distance and it worked out – somehow.

Back to the hardware store saga and the customer who complained.

It seems the owner appeared or was summoned – unclear at this point – and told the woman what she could do with her demands about wearing masks. I didn’t hear the conversation but the rumor is that it wasn’t pretty. It got heated quickly as those things often do.

The woman, feeling threatened, went home and called the sheriff whose office is just a couple of blocks away from the store.

The story stops there. It wasn’t reported in the local newspaper so I can only assume that cooler heads prevailed, with a little help from the law. Now it is being spread via the island gossip line, which often does not include key facts or accurate outcomes.

I smiled to myself when I heard about the problem. One thing I learned from the summer of the Covid was to keep my mouth shut and my opinions about mask-wearing to myself. You don’t want to wear a mask? Then my goal is to steer clear of you in any and all ways possible. I’m not about to ask if you have scrambled eggs for brains or confront you amid the nails and rubber hoses. It’s a losing battle.

I support mask wearing and will continue to do so until I get both of my vaccine shots and the country has been given the all-clear by health officials.

Or maybe not. Advice from health officials is another dust-up in the making. Just today I was reading an opinion piece by Miranda Devine, New York Post columnist, who insists that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and medical advisor to our new president, has played loose and easy with the facts over the past year.

“Back in March, when the coronavirus was decimating New York, he suggested that masks were useless,” Ms. Devine writes. “Right now in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks,” he told 60 Minutes.

He later admitted to InStyle magazine that he was lying because there was a serious problem with having enough masks for health care workers and that masks had to be saved for people who needed them the most.

It seems he also fudged the numbers on herd immunity by changing them to suit his message at the time.

If we couldn’t believe him last March, how will we be able to believe him in the future – even if he does feel liberated to speak freely under a new president, Ms. Devine asks.

I don’t know the answer to that. I also have no idea when I will get my first vaccine shot. At the island clinic, they were moving along nicely with the 90 and 80-year-olds. Just when they were about to enter my age bracket, they ran out of vaccine. Not sure when more will arrive, they say. Note to self: Check and see if Republican states are getting less vaccines than those run by Democrats.

So, I’ll keep wearing my mask and, in the meantime, I’ll stay out of the local hardware store and listen to Dr. Fauci’s claims with my usual skepticism. Someday soon I’d like to feel liberated, too. From my mask, that is.


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