Our daughter is home for a while, so we're having to work through how to "be" together. What's safe? What's ridiculous? Hard stuff. We don't think she's been exposed, but you never know. She has no symptoms and testing is inconclusive (and painful). Figuring it all out isn't as easy as "do this" and "don't do that."
One thing I wonder about is masks, which seem central to Covid 19 containment.
After navigating a bit of real-life human interaction this past week, I've come to think of mask usage as situational, at a micro level. For example, I don't see the need for a mask when I'm standing 30 feet away from another person outside. If I move to only six feet away, it's mask time.
Unfortunately, public policy doesn't work well at a situational, micro level. That's why we generally use broad brushes to paint broad pictures, especially at the beginning of specific new practices and needs. As things move forward and as we learn more about those broad policies, they naturally give way to exceptions and unique situations.
That's what Dan Forest is whining about now. He expects policy makers to anticipate every micro-level need well ahead of time and to understand how people will or will not behave in a broad range of circumstances. That's not possible. The best government can do is put a stake in the ground, see how people and communities respond, refine as more information comes available, step and repeat. Cooper has done an admirable job of doing exactly this, amplified by a pattern of continuous improvement.
In my own life, I use masks in what I believe are appropriate ways. I don't necessarily put my mask ON whenever I'm out, but when I'm near others, I hold it firmly up to my face for as long as necessary. When I step away, depending on the circumstances, I pocket the mask or simply keep it in my hand.
If I run into people who don't respect my approach, I leave immediately and tell them I will not deal with them. If I'm in a situation where I'm not wearing a mask but another person thinks I should be, I put my mask up immediately and give them all the breathing room they want.
Some say, "Why didn't we just give people total freedom to do all of this from the outset?" Here's why: People are jerks. Given the chance, many will behave badly.
Most of the time when I'm out, I do wear a mask. It's not a big deal, I'm happy to do it because it helps in the overall scheme of things.
Some say, "But it's only a three percent improvement over nothing." To which I say, three percent of 100,000 is 3000. Three. Thousand. People. If my simple action helps save others from misery and dying, I'm glad to do it.