04/12/2021 of COVID-19 Life

I didn’t think I’d have much to report on Coronavirus so soon. Utah surprised me, however, in announcing a removal of the statewide mask mandate two days ago. Governor Cox apprised us of this plan back on April 1 ….but, not even considering the date of said announcement, I expected he and the other lawmakers would change their minds.

Yet, here we are, mask-less. What do I think? I haven’t tried my freedom. Personally, and contrary to the friends I have left after writing about political issues on Twofacebook, I’m in favor of covering up. I think many fields that benefit from potentially-sick peoples blocking their breathing, sneezing, coughing, spreading still need that requirement in place -namely, the food services industry.

True -not everyone gets to have a naked face. Our international airport retains the mandate. So do many performing arts venues and public gathering places like the zoo. The Salt Lake Tribune posted a more comprehensive list on April 8.

Most importantly, the public school system must remain half-obscured till June 15. How do I know this? I work in the public school system as a ‘nutrition assistant.’ Because of that and having children who attend in the public school system, I have been receiving a small number of e-mails on the subject. Last night’s was the most interesting: a clearly-hastily-texted message from our school’s director advising teachers and staff what to do in the case of non-compliance. He warned about a concerted effort to send children to school without masks today, an effort I was aware of because of Twofacebook. He says we are not allowed to tie the offenders up and force face coverings; instead, we must remind them of the law to which we are bound, then send them home if they continue to refuse a mask.

Laws are interesting things. I’ve refrained from writing about my job on this blog besides announcing I had it. I’m a strong believer in maintaining a business’ privacy standards. Even if some event occurs worth writing about, I keep to generals and not specifics. In light of that, I will say that “the law to which we are bound” comes up quite often in working in a school cafeteria. I MUST serve so much of this and so much of that. The children MUST take a milk with their lunch. We MUST throw out any extra food, including when it is pans and pans because too many children were out on quarantine…

Such facts shocked me at first but I’ve learned this is the standard for all food services. I bring it up because it shocked me, and because those and other rules seem to shock parents who call in to ask why their Little Darling only received the amount of food s/he did (true story).

But, I digress. We were talking about Coronavirus. Utah’s numbers look good. The number of people getting vaccinated is astounding -the last update on that was that everyone may arrange her/his shot using the online scheduling system.

…Sorry. I got distracted by the Vaccine Distribution Counter. It refreshes whenever the page does.

Like I said, our numbers look really good. At the moment.

The numbers most certainly look better than those hazy days between November and January.

I hope things continue to look up. I hope people are responsible, as our gov’nuh wishes. For, as he clarified, “[M]ask mandates does not mean no masks. I think that’s a mistake we make. So we still encourage people even when the mask mandate goes away to be safe and wear masks, get vaccinated and then we can’t wait for all of us to get rid of our masks soon” (Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune).

You and me, both, brother.

How are things ’round your parts?


©2021 Chel Owens

48 thoughts on “04/12/2021 of COVID-19 Life

  1. It’s great to find out what’s happening in other parts of the world with C-19, Chelsea. We still have compulsory masks here but people are becoming a little frivolous about them. There were warnings of a third wave but it hasn’t materialised.

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  2. I’m glad the numbers are looking better in Utah. Here in Texas we’re still nervous about Governor “Covid” Abbott’s decision to open early (we were one of the first states to do so). Vaccination’s are going better but still slow. I am fully vaccinated but still wear a mask and maintain social distancing. That’s becoming more difficult as many folks have no concept of the public good.

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  3. New York has become quite optimistic. No where near ending the mask mandate formally, but in the streets, a lot less people are covering their faces. We too have an everyone can get vaccinated policy. My daughter gets her first tomorrow. My Memorial Day we will all be past the six week mark

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      1. I’m actually shocked at how well this is going. My husband got his shot at the department of health and he said he’s never seen anything run by the city work so well

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  4. Since our vaccines have only just opened to 18 year olds…up to 65 (The first to get the vaccine were (and there was debate as to why) Doctors and Nurses (- being in a controlled environment some thought emergency workers like EMTs should have been first, along with Firefighters and Police) and then Teachers… There is still that ever present tickle of another variant of the ‘Virus’, we are I think, should think, we are a long way yet from being mask-less. We also have a large Amish community that refuses to get vaccinated. We did just get some relief though about a week or so ago that our restaurants can now have 75% capacity. Some fast food eateries will let you go inside to order, but will not allow dine in yet. I guess each restaurant still gets to make some choices on their own.

    Personally I think we are rushing things. Since the possible full cycle of the virus (the first strain anyway) is about three years and we’ve only just finished one (in our area March – but possibly it arrived as early as December of the previous first year…)

    I’ve just recently gotten my first of two ‘shots’. Almost all of my ‘pod’ now have gotten the vaccine except for the younger children. Folks need to remember that the vaccine is not a cure all. It is just there to help ease the symptoms so you won’t possibly have to be hospitalized and maybe even die.

    And then there are also those who think they don’t need the Vaccine. Even our military are not force to take the vaccine because it hasn’t been 100% government approved. Our niece who is a Major in the Army told us of an article she read where a good portion of our Marines are refusing to get the vaccine. And they can’t be forced to take it.

    So after reading of spikes from different areas both around the world and local, I think I’ll be keeping my masks around for awhile, and keeping distant from strangers, thank you very much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? Even before the vaccine, I felt the way you’re describing: that a large group were choosing to be reckless. I do think it’s important to have freedom of choice; I don’t think one should also not be wearing a mask or practicing clean habits if s/he chooses that.

      We opened up the vaccine to medical workers and teachers first, then age/risk, then a lower age, then everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Some feel that the EMTs who weren’t in a controlled environment and were first responders should have been vaccinated before or along with Doctors and Nurses. That wasn’t the case here.

        I am all for freedom of choice and speech. However, that doesn’t mean that anyone should be a) allowed to spit in my face or b) tell me that because I don’t believe the way they do – that I am wrong.

        Caution is good. False bravado perhaps not so much.

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  5. There’s plans here for people to have a third shot – booster – in September, to take care of the known variants. The rules are easing by degrees. All being well, some sense of normal by June. I don’t know about the masks issue, tbh.

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  6. Here in Manitoba, vaccines are still limited to the older population and rules have not eased very much. Numbers have not been too bad, though I believe they’ve been higher in neighboring provinces.

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  7. Our governor removed the mask mandate, he said, but did not stress that it was still advisable. Many businesses are still requiring masks as are doctors offices etc.

    In fact, on the news, allergists have reported that allergy sufferers are suffering much less, due to mask wearing!!

    I will always keep a mask handy and wear it when I feel “sick” due to allergies along with fibromyalgia. Then I won’t worry about accidentally infecting others.

    The non maskers are evidently a minority in my part of Texas. Numbers are still looking pretty good. The Texas Rangers opened up the ball field for fans this year… we are hoping that we don’t see a surge in infections!

    Stay safe and well!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. If a case emerges from returnees in 14 day quarantine into the general populace the monitoring and tracing ramps up a level for a week or two, then back to life as usual. So far. The fewer cases, the easier to control, the sooner back to normal. Yes, we have been lucky but having a coherent plan from the start helps.

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  8. “a removal of the statewide mask mandate.” Hasn’t happened on this side of the water yeah but that will be a glorious moment. Good to see small changes and hoping coming into the summer keeps on improving. Great informative post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I hope your numbers continue to look good, too! Our area is looking great as well, but my husband likes to remind me there are other areas of the US where things are going in the wrong direction and there are who knows how many variants out there. So, fingers crossed!

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  10. We have 50% of adults with at least one vaccine shot but now the supplies are getting sticky. So the under 40s unless they work in a frontline occupation or have an underlying condition that makes them vulnerable, ll of home have been offered, may have to wait. The hope remains we will be all offered by late June. All excluding under 18s for whom the vaccines haven’t yet been approved.
    Currently we are gradually leaving full lockdown. Schools went back in March with the over 11s having to wear masks. Even so cases kept dropping. On 5th April we could meet up to 6 people outside. Today lo non critical shops gyms polls and zoos opened with hospitality (pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants) opened for outdoor drinking and dining in groups up to 6. Anything indoors requires mandatory social distancing and mask wearing.
    The next date, assuming the data allows will be mid may when foreign travel and indoor hospitality will opened. Currently it’s illegal to go abroad unless it is for a permitted reason. That doesn’t include anywhere in the UK or Ireland but does include the rest of Europe.
    Vaccines aren’t compulsory but take up has been high. There are discussions whether care home workers will be forced to be vaccinated.
    Then in mid June all legal restrictions will end, data permitting. Night clubs, sports events and music events may restart.
    Currently very polarised debates about vaccine passports. It’s unlikely to be compulsory for pubs etc but maybe for big events etc. It’s thought likely it will become mandatory to travel to some countries.
    The stats are looking good and the vaccines seem to be breaking the link between cases and severe illness. But currently mask wearing and social distancing is mandatory and pretty well respected.
    Oh and the rules are different between each country in the Union. Scotland is probably the most cautious of the 4. What I’ve described above is for England.
    Confused? You bet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A bit confusing, yes, but thorough. So, do areas of the UK have guards posted so one knows where he or she needs to go? I’m of two minds about compulsory vaccinations.

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      1. No, but if say an English numberplate is spotted in wales the car might be pulled over and the occupants fined. And I’m with you on my ambivalence to making things compulsory. There are circumstances, in surgical units where some vaccines are required but few.

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  11. my job took a too soon stance on unmasking and we then had a surge of people getting Covid, an outbreak of sorts. I personally don’t want to go completely mask free until most of the country is vaccinated. I take it there will be 3Rd dose for the fall/winter because my vaccine has an expiration of July. More people tend to get sick between Sept – Mar.

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  12. My wife and I have been vaccinated, but for the peace of mind of others when out in public I think we’ll continue to wear our masks for the indefinite future… assuming that the rulers of Washington State ever allow us that freedom of choice…

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  13. Things are progressing nicely in California. We didn’t request a specific type of vaccine. When my wife got vaccinated, she got the Johnson and Johnson (one poke). I got in about ten days later and received my first Pfizer vaccine. I will get the next one in two more weeks. No side effects for either one of us. We still wear our masks in any public situation. Today was the first time in a year that all of the people in my writing group went mask free (except for me.) I will join them ten days after my second vaccination. My wife has had a hard time throughout the pandemic. but her anxiety has been reduced considerably since she got vaccinated. We even booked airfare to go see our son in May. We had to postpone our family reunion last year, but this year we’re moving forward with it in June.

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  14. glad things are looking up,Chel; things have been good here for a long time though we still Covid Scans on our cell phone apps when entering shopping centres, and we maintain social distancing but pubs are open, restaurants, schools etc

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  15. Vaccines are only part of the solution. Changes to how we do things and accepting masks as a way of life are just as important. Plus until we get our head round that we can’t just have certain countries (mine) getting fully vaccinated but then other parts of the world going unvaccinated, that’s never going to work.

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