Wear the MASK . . . Emotional Intelligence

November 24th, 2020 by Nick Jacobs Leave a reply »

In an article by Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli titled “Medieval Europeans didn’t understand how the plague spread. The response of the citizens of Florence, Italy wasn’t so different than ours,” I learned what I had thought I’d learn.

Not much in human nature has changed.

One of the worst plagues hit Florence in 1348 some 672 years ago, and when Harlan and Pitrelli recently went there to study it, what they found were the incredible similarities between that ancient, less medically informed time and now.

They discovered that borders were closed, strict rules were put in place —“but only some people paid attention.” They also discovered “there was a proliferation of conspiracy theories where outsiders and minorities were blamed.”

Inns and workshops were closed and some people shut themselves in while others ventured out with herbs, spices, and masks. As the plague continued and death counts went higher, others held fearless denial dinner parties that were attended by fewer and fewer people.

Ironically, the only thing that seemed to work in 1348 was to flee the cities and go to the countryside. We’ve seen exactly the same exodus occurring from our major cities.

One of the challenges of escaping to rural Western Pennsylvania is the proliferation of nonbelievers. It seems their personal philosophy is, “Don’t wear a mask.”  Sure, they still buckle their seat belts, threw away their cigarettes, and are avoiding those 200 calorie cans of soda, but now they walk smugly into public gatherings and say, “I don’t believe in masks. This is just the flu, and it would go away by November 4.”

?They also boldly look at those people scowling at them and say, “America is a free country, and you sheep can do whatever you want.” Then they go on to say, “I’m not wearing a mask, and I’m not going to socially distance myself from anyone.”

Several of these nonbelievers have gone into work and powered their way through what they thought was a little touch of the flu. At work, they spent the day close-talking with everyone and kept their required masks either firmly below their chin or at least below their noses like a bad pair of tighty whities.

?Some of them have held parties for their twenty closest friends to watch football games together while serving finger food and drinks that their unwashed fingers prepared.

?When their cough got very deep and they began feeling like the hydraulic lift at the local Mack truck garage, they went to the doctor without a mask and were quarantined in the parking lot until someone in a hazmat suit came to their car and stuck a Q-tip-type device all the way through their nose and practically up to their brain.  Not long after they found out they have COVID, but they still believed it would be long gone by November 4 because those nearly 220,000 dead are just skewed statistics.

?They then are told the place where they work had to close for business because everyone was exposed to COVID.  Oh, and that party they held? It’s turned into a super spreader event.

?So, now the school district has had to close, too because of one misnformed decision to take no precautions.

?If this were a true story, we would be outraged. Well, guess what?  It is a true story.?

?Here’s the worst part. We don’t know if some of those folks infected by Mr. Super Spreader are even going to live. Did you read that?

?Grandad’s Malibu, the Weber grill and his house might truly be “passed along” to those who survive, but the lives and treasure we’ve lost from collateral damage is a hell of a price to pay for more things.

?Wear your mask.  Seriously. Surgeons, RNs and techs do all day every day.



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