May 20, Quarantine in Queens, Day 70
One of the arguments for not wearing a mask outside is that it is a free country. To many, asking someone to be inconvenienced is an infringement of personal freedom. If someone is at risk to the virus, like seniors or those with medical issues, they should just stay home.
That is easier said than done. After months at home, it becomes an infringement of personal freedom for seniors and those with medical issues to be stuck at home.
After our trip to the park last week my mother tasted the flavor of freedom, and she liked it.
"My mother's friend, Shirley, called. She used to be the same blouse size as my mother, but because of an illness, had lost a lot of weight. She had a bunch of brand new outfits from Bloomingdale's that she never wore that were now too large. Can she drive over and give them to my mother?"
At first, Sophia and I nixed the idea. My mother bristled at our helicoptering. We came up with a compromise. I would go downstairs and pick up the blouses from Shirley as she drove by in her car.
When it was time for Shirley's arrival, I found myself on an important zoom conference call. Sophia was about to have a virtual conversation with a doctor at NYU. We were forced into the inevitable - my mother would have to go downstairs ALONE and pick up the blouses. It would be the first time she's left the house alone since March.
"What's the big deal?" some of you might ask. My mother is active and independent, and can go outside by herself. She's not a child. But there are a lot of people out there who don't wear masks, even in our neighborhood with one of the highest Covid-19 infection and death rates in the world.
We told my mother that if she goes out by herself, she has to wear a mask, gloves, and goggles to protect her eyes.
"Why don't you just wrap me in the shower curtain?" my mother asked, sarcastically.