Happy Independence Day to all of my fellow Americans (and those who consider themselves Americans at heart)!
As we approach yet another holiday to celebrate, I’d like to give you all a few friendly reminders on remaining safe and helping to do your part in order to keep those around you safe.
- Please, if you choose to go out of your normal personal safety spaces, please remember to WEAR A MASK. I do it and it’s really not that big a deal. It may not be the most stylish, hipest, coolest accessory that you’ll ever wear, but it will help protect others around you (and you will feel good in knowing that you may help prevent someone from taking an unexpected trip to the hospital. It’s not a “right” to not wear a mask. It is a responsibility for you to wear one.
- I wouldn’t recommend attending large 4th of July barbeque gatherings (for one, I’m one of the biggest “wallflowers” and introverted individuals that you’ll ever know, so this wouldn’t be a problem for me anyway), but if you feel like you just have to get together to celebrate, please remember to KEEP IT SMALL, and please remember to PRACTICE PHYSICAL DISTANCING ) or if you prefer the other more common nomenclature term (which I don’t, but most everyone says), practice social distancing, keeping at least 6 feet apart from each other at all times and stay home if your temperature is running high.
- WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY!!! This is a no brainer. Soap is one of the world’s greatest assets to humankind. It comes in all kinds of colors, fragrants, and is fairly cheap and easy to find. Use it.
- CARRY HAND SANITIZER with you at all times if you find yourself far away from soap and water. I know that this is pretty hard to come by, as I’m having a hard time finding it myself. If I don’t have hand sanitizer, I found that a little bottle of soapy water (I save the little Purell hand sanitizer bottles, back when they were available) also works fairly well. I take a few droplets of dish detergent, or liquid hand soap, fill it with water and presto! It may not be as effective as actual hand sanitizer, but it’s better than nothing, and will get you to the next sink with actual soap and water.
Keep these four things in mind while SAFELY celebrating your 4th and all should be well. I don’t wish to sound like I’m lecturing here, but I can no longer remain silent and have to speak out about this. One of the main reasons that COVID-19 is still maintaining its grip on the US is that too many people are not following the guidelines. It’s not that difficult. I come from some very strict schools back in my day and had a lot more restrictions, more difficult than these, placed on me in my youth. I didn’t always agree with them, but they kept me safe and probably saved my life on more than one occasion. Following these guidelines may not be fun, may not be enjoyable; you may not even agree with them. But follow them anyway. Just do it. The more people that get on board with this, the better our chances are of us beating this thing and hopefully will allow us to go back to our lifestyles (hopefully wiser than before) where we don’t have to wear masks in public or keeping our distance from other people and so on. If you truly want to be patriotic and show your patriotism this Independence day, then be respectful of your fellow Americans around you. It’s not about us wanting to always do our little individual things and say “we’re in this together”. It’s about us actually thinking about those around us and working together, doing our part, to keep others safe. That’s what it means to be an American, to me anyway.