Opinion: This pandemic is not over

Opinion: This pandemic is not over

Make choices accordingly.

  • By Sherri Wes
  • Saturday, June 13, 2020 12:24pm
  • Opinion

A few weeks ago, I went to a store for the first time since the first case of COVID-19 was announced in Juneau. I am one of the “vulnerable” in that I am over 65 with underlying health conditions. There were items I needed to pick out on my own at Fred’s, and looking at the case numbers I thought I could take a chance.

I want to thank all of the people in the store that were wearing facemasks. I totally get why you wouldn’t want to. I found mine hard to breathe through and claustrophobic. Yet, I understood, as did my fellow mask wearers, that I wasn’t wearing it to protect myself. I was wearing it to protect everyone else. Even if it were possible to keep 6 feet apart in the food aisles, which it is not, studies have shown that a cough or a sneeze can spread droplets further than that and that droplets can remain in the air for minutes. No one is sure exactly how far the COVID-19 virus spreads or how long it remains in the air, but I’d rather not take any chances on possibly giving it to someone else.

Of course, people look at the number of new cases in Juneau and say precautions are no longer necessary. I had a doctor tell me there was no more COVID-19 in Juneau. That was the same day that another guard at Lemon Creek tested positive. Also, unless I am mistaken, people are still flying into Juneau and as we “open up” that number will increase. I know for a fact that not everyone flying in and required to self-quarantine, is actually doing it. So again, I don’t want to take a chance on somehow contracting the virus from someone flying in, and then giving it to someone else. I know that everyone wearing a mask feels the same way.

Then, there are people who say that if I am more vulnerable, I should just stay isolated. How many of you would want to stay isolated indefinitely when you live alone? Plus, there are things that I can only do by going out. For instance, I recently made settlement on the sale of my condo. I looked at potential places online, but when it came down to buying something, I needed to see my short list of properties in person. It is easy to make places appear in perfect condition in photos. The reality is not, and was not, always the same. Again, both my real estate agent and I wore masks and gloves while viewing the properties. Neither of us wanted to take the chance of giving the virus to others either living in or viewing the properties.

So, what is the point I am trying to make? Well, I wanted to thank those who were wearing masks in Fred’s because they cared enough to protect me and everyone else. To be honest, I had expected everyone to be wearing a mask. That was sadly not the case. At least, half of the people were not. I would like to remind the people without masks that if you want to put your own life in danger you are always free to do so, but please don’t put my life at risk. How would you like it if someone you loved died from the Covid-19 because someone who had the virus but didn’t know it, decided they didn’t want to be bothered wearing a mask? Somehow, I don’t think you would like it one bit.

Meanwhile, since that day, I am back to leaving the house as little as possible. Based on the increasing number of cases in the state it is the smart thing to do, even if it is very lonely.

So please people, I would really appreciate it if you would wear a mask. This pandemic is not over, and I would like to live through it.

• Sherri Wes is a Juneau resident and senior trying to live through this pandemic while maintaining my sanity. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

More in Opinion

Web
Have something to say?

Here’s how to add your voice to the conversation.

t
Opinion: Let’s keep the mandatory real property disclosure ordinance

It will better ensure fair, accurate and efficient property tax assessments and collections.

(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Opinion: Playing the old-timer card

Is the Empire really only interested in the problems faced by small communities?

Heavy metals run out of the Tulsequah Chief mine opening and down to holding ponds next to the Tulsequah River Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file)
Opinion: Officials must keep up pressure to clean up BC mine

In March 2017 I had a Commentary published Pacific Fishing Magazine imploring… Continue reading

Former Gov. Bill Walker, right, and his running mate former commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Heidi Drygas, speak to Juneauites gathered for a fundraiser at a private home in Juneau on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Why I’m voting for Walker

Walker is the only candidate with the potential to govern effectively for all Alaskans.

t
Opinion: The time has come to end Big Tech’s rule

The internet has opened doors and pathways to more than we could… Continue reading

Nick Begich III campaign materials sit on tables ahead of a May 16 GOP debate held in Juneau. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Nick Begich is who Alaska and America need now

It is in Alaska’s best interest to elect a member of the Republican party.

teaser
Opinion: If you see something, say something

Together we can fight to preserve this pristine place we live.

This photo shows the University of Alaska Southeast campus in Juneau. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: I’m a longtime educator, and I’m supporting Walker/Drygas

The issues our state faces are significant with regard to education.

t
Opinion: Congress could keep health insurance costs from rising, but it has to act fast

Some argue that the federal government paid out far too much money… Continue reading

signs
Opinion: A conversation about mental health

All in all, we want you to know that you are not alone.

Anselm Staack (Courtesy Photo)
Opinion: Controlling women’s bodies — the coming tsunami

The Thomas Court wants to return us to the days before the 1960s, preferably to 1776.