In this picture, you see me about to go for a pickup. the photo was taken in the cold january 2020 morning, when the quarentine in Wuhan was just recently instated. no one knew anything about transmission of the covid 19 virus at the time and we were much in a panic. i am wearing swimming goggles, as it was rumored to be transmitttable through soft tissues, like eyes. the jacket covering my head is not just a precaution against the cold either. i was also wearing gloves, and nylon bags over my shoes.
these excursions were very rare, and limited to walking to the front gate of the residential block that i lived in, where the grocery van brought vegetables. you did not get a choice of what to buy, everything was prepacked, take it or leave it. the supermarkets did the same with dry goods and toileteies. some people got very confusing items along with their soap. but considering the fact that nothing was set up prior to deliver things to EVERYONE, then this ensured that people got at least the basics.
i remember a lot of things going through my mind:
1) the swimming goggles were an improvment on my old pair, which is more like a scuba goggle. they fogged up and made things even more difficult. so first thought- gratitude that we somehow found the older pair, which were uncomdortable in the pool, but at least made me look slightly less ridiculous.
2) i remember thinking how at the end of this excursion my wife and baby will need to go and hide in the bedroom, until i took everything off, and it was in the washer, bathing in a ton of laundry detergent, and me scrubbing myself in the bathroom. only after i was in the bath could they come out with reasonable safety. my thought- maybe we should also mop the floor with disinfectant. but of course alcohol was more expensive then gold. (we had a stock of stuff before as i was crazy a long time before covid..)
3) i wonder what surprise the grocery guy will bring? turnips? cabbage? carrots? i was desperate for a tomato or cucumber, as they were rarely sent over.
as i said much was not known of the virus and how thos sickness spreads and kills. all that people knew back then was that it was dangerous and that you need to take precautions.
which is why after more than a year of this crap, i feel absolute rage, contempt, and disgust when i read about people who have the means to protect themselves with masks, and vaccines, who still choose to not take these very basic precautions. this is a subject of gross neglect, irresponsibility and stupidity on an absurd level!! the fact that vaccinations and masks are still a political divide in some parts of the world, and a question of supply and demand in other, poorer places , just infuriates me! this is not really a question of freedom any more. abnoxious or reckless behavior can be tolarated and accepted as part of the rich tapestry that makes up a society. however a society that cant provide protection from dangers to its members is in serious danger or even doomed. the masks that people refuse to put on, mostly as a protest over some imaginary repression is not different from letting people get drunk and high and start plowing the road with their cars. no one has an objection to the police pulling them over, and at least giving them a heavy ticket, if not arresting them. the same rigor of enforcement, should be applied to vaccination and masks. countries that have limited resources to deal and provide these simple precautions should receive aid to that effect. it is much cheaper to srnd a billion dollars worth of vaccines , gloves and masks, than a billion dollars worth of smart bombs. and oeople will aporeciate the latter much less than the former. plus the benefit is at least as great.