All this talk of masks …
It’s sad to see people making such an issue of it.
Today starts Week #136 of my journey on cancer mountain. You might say I was air-dropped on to it along a double-black-diamond run over 2.5 years ago with a very difficult Stage IV diagnosis. Since then I’ve run the gauntlet, been through the wringer, and run up the flag pole with 4 surgeries, 10 rounds of radiation, and 36 rounds / 1000+ hours of chemo … and counting!
If you’ve been through anything like this or have a friend or relative that’s wrestled cancer, you know protective masks come with territory. They are an essential part of cancer care and equipment for both patients and caregivers alike. This is true at the hospital … at home … while traveling … at the treatment centers … at the blood labs … and just about anywhere cancer patients might encounter germs and other people. (Worth a mention, I didn’t know until I landed on cancer mountain that chemo is essentially poison. Did you know scientists developed it from mustard gas between WW I and WW II? Masks and PPE are used by my nurses at every chemo infusion for their own protection.)
So, it strikes me the arguments over masks are pretty ridiculous and full of faux rage. I can’t imagine anyone barging into a cancer patient’s residence, a hospital, or a cancer center — protesting that their individual rights and freedoms are being compromised. We all abide by these practices to protect others, to protect our brave medical workers and volunteers, and to protect ourselves.
Cancer Treatment Centers of America recently posted these benefits about wearing masks:
1) they can keep you from nonchalantly touching your nose or mouth.
2) they direct some or possibly most of your respiratory droplets away from anyone you are speaking to directly.
3) they decrease at least a small amount of the number of respiratory droplets you may be exposed to … The quantity of novel coronavirus you are exposed to likely plays a role in your risk of infection, and possibly the severity of infection. This benefit to both yourself and others is called bidirectional protection, and it’s a win-win.
I share all this as the perspective of someone squarely in the Covid-19 higher risk group. Please do the right thing – for yourself and others.
P.S. Some great images from the past month …