Aisle Of Wit

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Be My Quaran-Tine?

Dearest Barbara,

A few weeks ago I wrote at length about how much your valued intelligence and leadership was so influential on my life and health.  Your institutional medical knowledge and unwavering dedication to “trusting your team of medical experts” is constantly cited every time your beautiful face pops up from some remote location in a two shot on local LA news.  You seem to be showing up a lot, lately, since more than ever you seem determined to impose restrictions specific to Los Angeles County on masking and social distancing that are further removed from any from the state of California, numerous other states with even denser populations, and businesses such as Starbuck’s and Walmart.

This would have been a far more harshly worded diatribe had this special weekend not begun with your carrot-like promise that if we can somehow hold down the average daily hospitalization count below 2500 for a seven-day period that began last Friday you will, in your infinite wisdom, declare that masks will no longer be required at outdoor “mega-events”.  Saturday’s number was 2086, so mathematically we’ have been heading in the right direction.

I truly would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during your lengthy zoom calls that debated exactly what went into the arbitrary threshold of 2500 hospitalizations being set. or what exactly constitutes a “mega-event”, and how there hasn’t even been a hint of statistical vig that might signal some wiggle room on those numbers.  Like a helicopter parent, you “urged” that even in the wake of a Super Bowl in our home city, the most ideal mid-winter weather we’ve seen in decades and a holiday that literally is dedicated to the concept of expressing love with one’s lips, we should celebrate separately, virtually and in isolation.   Lord knows enough pictures emerged from the numerous parties and that silly football game in Inglewood yesterday that suggests many, many people didn’t listen to you.  We are awaiting the weekend hospitalization numbers with greater anticipation than the Super Bowl overnights (My prediction, including non-linear viewing, is 105 million persons total reach, BTW).  You’ve certainly picked an opportune time to determine the short-term approach to a long-term process.  You tease.

Let me once again reinforce for anyone who may be reading this that I am NOT an anti-masker or anti-vaxxer.  I own more than 50 masks of various materials, sizes, and shapes.  I am fully vaxxed and boosted and may even get a fourth jab down the road.   I even accepted our government’s generous offer of three free N 95s at my CVS and despite my hatred of the materials and structures of the ones I had tried previously I capitulated to the tacit judgment of strangers who recoiled in fear at the site of my lips and friends who implicitly consider me to have a screw loose lest I question the “numbers” you use.   Since that overcame my personal choice that I wouldn’t pay one red cent for one of those masks, I wore one last week over my far more comfortable triple-ply, copper-reinforced, but as you reminded still inferior, cloth mask.   I’ve already recounted that the material that your beloved N 95s are made of irritates my face and that the ear loops are constricting but hey, I still thought I’ll take one for your team, sweetheart.

My heartfelt thanks for the conjunctivitis that mask gave me, which fortunately I am finally recovering from.

So let’s see where we are, Barbara.  You continue to assure anyone who dares to question your leadership that you are an esteemed leader in social welfare, and therefore more qualified to determine how we interact as a society during an endemic than dozens of world-renowned medical doctors who have concurred that many of our previous conclusions that were as deeply engrained as yours were, in hindsight, just incorrect.

I don’t profess to be a medical doctor.  But neither are you.  You continue to shroud your recommendations with the shroud of wanting to look out for your fellow human being because it’s the right thing to do.

Well, far too many of these human beings have been so spooked by your policies that it has personally cost me jobs, friendships, incomes and intimacies decades in the making.  Those that, like you, have comfortable lives in large homes with loving families and steady incomes continue to refuse to eat out, socially interact, or even return e-mails and phone calls.  Since in your world people like me that currently have none of those life stages as our truth are somehow inferior, you appear deaf to any debate or reconsideration that, maybe, just maybe, you might not be completely right.

As the New York Times wrote last week, the CDC makes recommendations on diet and exercise as well as COVID-19 protocols, and millions of Americans choose to ignore them.  Many of the co-morbidities developed as a result of those choices have directly contributed to the hospitalizations that you continue to cite as the reason for putting society on hold.  Personally, with the help of some wonderful role models and supporters, I’ve been able to make lifestyle changes that to date have had me avoid infection or infecting others and be in the best shape of my life.  That was as a result of MY choices and MY decisions.  And that seems to be where we have irreconcilable differences, Babs.

If there is any logic or common ground to be gained from freedom convoys, Burton Birch, Bill Maher and what you would to be far more insane types, it is that these people are adamant that it is up to US how we choose to live our lives and what we put on or inside our bodies.  Despite how badly I feel when people choose to isolate, I respect any and all whose personal life conditions demand they do so.  I also respect the decisions of those who choose not to vaccinate, and I especially respect those that ASK first before they interact.  Note that on REAL TIME this season Bill Maher offers his hand to his guests to shake as they come onstage.  Some choose to shake his hand, some even hug him.  It’s THEIR CHOICE.

I’ve fought with a tenacity even greater than your determination to maintain your current high six-figure salary and celebrity status to be alive, relevant and desirable, Barbara.  I’ve failed much more than I’ve succeeded.  But at least I admit it.  What we do have in common is that we will both soldier on, despite our differences.

And yes, I’m well aware you have other people in your life who do love you, Barbara.  No one, not even you, deserves not to have love.  The arrow certainly points to an eventuality later this week that you will declare a temporary respite to masks, the press will rejoice, and G-d willing we will soon reach the inflection point that many elsewhere have already declared–the endemic policy of personal choice that will finally allow us to walk around without prejudgment, respect others’ boundaries and see beautiful smiles and feel warm lips once again without breaking into panic attacks.  For schoolchildren to be able to see their teachers’ approval and their friends’ acceptance.  For people like me to not freak out at the sight of you whenever a breaking news alert occur.  And not feel compelled to write something so judgmental and harsh,

The best news is that at least this Valentine’s Day I can look forward to seeing some special friends who will hug me.  I’ll have to travel to do so and perhaps, this time the airline won’t throw me off the plane when my mask falls off my nose while I’m asleep in my seat waiting for them to get a healthy crew member as we sat on the tarmac for two hours.  I’ve rectified my behind-the-neck support so my triple-layer reinforced mask is nice and tight (by the way, I read the fine print; medical experts assure that such reinforcement is 98% as effective as your precious N-95, and for the sake of my recovering left eye that’s a risk I’m willing to take).

And in the not-too-distant future you, dear Barbara, will fade back into the obscurity you deserve, financially comfortable, hopefully physically healthy, loved by those close to you and no longer in a position to impact my life as draconically as you have.  And maybe over time the friendships and loves I’ve lost might reconsider.

Please accept my quaran-tine, dear. And don’t let the door hit you in the face on the way out, you feckless hack.

Until next time,,,