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A Locum’s ScrapBook: Unmasking COVID: Virtual Reality has BECOME our Economy.

Editor’s Note:

That is my family. Up there-

I want to be able to say that a year from now…

We (or better stated) “I” have worn Masks for YEARS.

Today is a continuation of more than a years struggle in terms of trying to cope with an entirely innocuous yet devastatingly efficient enemy that affects so many families in such extreme ways, while it leaves others untouched.

It Is that exact enigma in terms of who will die and who will fly, that makes COVID 19 such a clear ping-pong ball in an arena where no one truly knows who shall be affected- someone is going to be OUT..

I think it is pretty obvious that we are as a society, transitioning to a virtual state where person to person conversations are less natural, and we are ceasing to communicate on a face-to-face level, whether it’s physical or otherwise.

Virtual Reality has become OUR economy.

In other words – we all have facemasks on and so in my opinion that represents a loss of at least 30% of visual person-to-person communication – leading to a road where clearly we accelerate distance between one another. 

It cannot be understated how much we depend on posture and resonance when speaking or receiving invocatives from others and just getting a handle on the bottom-line message.

Wearing a mask that tends to stifle or suppress typical expressions that we rely on during the course of a conversation- to either interpret or rebut another makes things a little cloudier than they need to be.

I was working in KY when the pandemic became very clear. It was odd and very surreal on multiple levels- both at work as well as an almost totally vacant hotel.

There was a lady there that worked as a hotel clerk that had her own sewing business that I spoke with as things became evident that a holocaust was approaching. We spoke of it- nameless at that point- yet obvious because I was the LAST remaining tenant at a hotel of that caliber.

I won’t say I was frightened- but I will say I was very alert.

The lady I spoke of had a sewing business- and I suggested that she expand her business to facial masks to address the obvious emerging pandemic.

She did so- and I offered those masks up to my colleagues. At that point- the masks were denied – for whatever reason I have no clue- nor did I pursue the answer to that decision. There were so many unknown variables at that time- that in all honesty- everyone was scared- and not sure of what was real- or what to do.

I haven’t seen a total loss of medical direction like that before- I hope not to see it again- but it was clear to me, being at multiple unaffected sites- that fear was a significant motivator in terms of any forward decisions regarding any sort of surgery.

No-one was talking- no-one knew what to do. What was stunning was that in the space of 12 hours- this hospital had all their masks and non sterile gloves removed from service- so that all anyone could do was go to a main circulation desk and get gloves and masks.

I was both shocked and impressed. Happened overnight. Very Very quick and methodical.

Having lived so much of my life in medicine, whether as a Hospital Navy Corpsman, a Surgical 1st Assistant, an Operating Room Technician, and then becoming a Cardiovascular Perfusionist as well- I guess I have to say that more than 60% of my adult working life has been behind a mask.

The point being? 

  • I wear a mask to protect my patients.
  • I wear a mask like I breath air and drink water-
  • I wear a mask because of sterile technique
  • I wear a mask because I want to avoid cross contamination issues-
    • You WON’T infect me
  • There are over 500,000 REASONS why I should wear a mask.
  • We have LOST more Americans to COVID then died in BOTH World Wars-
  • I will never STOP wearing a mask-
  • My Mask is Cool-
  • Your’s is also…
  • Because we needed some sort of fence to mend whatever it is that is killing us.
  • It is such a silly and low tech option- but in all honesty? We are our own worst enemies. The simple act of social distancing is clearly the most overt defense we have at avoiding cross-contaminating one another. Wearing a mask is just one of obvious solutions to diminish or reduce the risk of becoming infected.
  • I wear a mask- because- it is integral to what I do as a cardiovascular perfusionist. But I have worn a mask for almost 40 years of my professional life. So it’s not a “thing” or political football. It is a mere statement of the obvious. Elimination or reduction of cross contamination.
  • We are well on our way to becoming a virtual society- and that is an evocatively scary albeit a reconcilable evolutionary process.
  • COVID has ripped the doors open for reality- to become virtual. But based on pure observation of my own children as they grow? It is clear that most of our young minds are focused on whatever media that is afforded them- not the the natural trees and hills I wish they were running on and through.

Bottom Line?

If it has an ounce of potential and plausibility in keeping your wife, husband, or children alive- then why not?


There are over half a million reasons for you to consider that.

Be Strong

Be Safe


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