“An N95 respirator is the safest thing to put between myself and a virus, but it is by no means the most interesting.”
— The Third Doctor, probably
As a courtesy to everybody he interviews this week, Ron has been following the governor’s advice and covering his face.
With a bandanna.
Which makes him look as if he is planning to rob a stagecoach after deadline.
I couldn’t let him run around like that, so I rummaged through my craft closet tonight and let him pick through my fabric stash to find something he could handle wearing. He chose a blue fabric with Our Lady of Guadalupe on it. He could do worse than to have the Mother of God standing between him and everybody’s cooties, I suppose.
I, of course, insisted on geeking it up. It would take a pretty audacious virus to try to get past twelve Doctors. (This fabric predates Thirteen by a couple of years.)
P.S.: Ron also has an N95 respirator to go with his stylish cloth mask. I found it in my craft closet tonight while I was searching for elastic. I think I bought it to ward off migraines while I was painting the kitchen in Cape, so if you see him in it, don’t side-eye him too much. I’m pretty sure the people fighting the pandemic didn’t want a slightly used mask that’s been rocking around in the bottom of a craft bin for three years. o__O
Ron and I went to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood when it came to Tucumcari a few weeks ago. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s well worth the $3 to watch it on Amazon Prime while you’re practicing social distancing.
As the coronavirus scare unfolds, I find myself wondering how Fred Rogers would handle it. What would a coronavirus-themed episode of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood look like? What would Mr. Rogers tell his young viewers? What would Lady Aberlin say to reassure Daniel the Striped Tiger? How would King Friday address his subjects in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe?
In an interview many years ago, Mr. Rogers mentioned that when he was a child, and something sad or frightening happened, his mother would say, “Look for the helpers.”
I don’t have Mr. Rogers’ gentle, soft-spoken demeanor or a set of puppets I can use to reassure you. But I do have some training in looking for the good in every situation, and while I’m a bit rusty at it, I still remember how to look for the helpers.
With that in mind, here are some hopeful signs amid the deluge of bad news:
- The Washington Post reports that pet adoptions are up, along with the number of volunteers willing to foster homeless animals, as people find themselves at home, with time on their hands and a need for companionship.
- The Christian Science Monitor reports that grocery-store clerks, whose work often goes unappreciated, are being treated as emergency responders in several states as the value of their work becomes apparent.
- On a related note, here in New Mexico, during her most recent press conference, our governor made a point of thanking journalists for putting themselves at risk to provide the public with information that may help keep them safe. It’s not unusual for journalists to do that, but it’s unusual — and heartening — to hear an elected official acknowledge it.
- The Monitor also noted in a recent editorial that charitable giving is up.
- While scientists are still working on treatments and vaccines, the Post reports that it appears they’ve found a faster way to test patients for coronavirus, which should help leaders, medical workers, and individuals make better decisions.
There are plenty of helpers out there. Keep looking for them.