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From The Chief Editor's Desk

After six months of dealing with this coronavirus pandemic, I've come to one HUGE conclusion. Americans SUCK at wearing masks! They also have zero concept of what social distancing means.

On August 28, we went for a bicycle ride. It wasn't just an ordinary bicycle ride. We travelled from the Kansas City area, to our favorite trail just west of Des Moines, IA. Along the way, we had to make a couple of stops. We wore masks into each business we stopped at along the way. Some businesses mandated that masks be worn, and compliance was pretty good. Others, like a popular convenience store in a rural Iowa town, made no such mandate, and we were definitely in the minority. Most customers in the store were in the store without a mask. Social distancing? Fuggedaboutit! It wasn't even a thought.

Then, the next evening, I needed to go to the grocery store to pick up a few items we had run out of or had run low on. While most customers wore masks at the grocery store, there were quite a few who wore them over their mouth, but left their nose exposed! So, yeah, they were wearing a mask, even if they were wearing it about as improperly as you can.

Wearing a mask with your mouth covered but your nose exposed is completely and utterly useless. One of my old bosses (a female) likened it to a woman wearing a brassière ... with her boobs hanging out! It's a very accurate description! Neither -- the mask or the brassière -- does one bit of good.

And, it's not just what I see in stores where I witness this behavior. It's no secret that I am an avid baseball fan. Specifically, a Kansas City Royals baseball fan, through good and bad, thick and thin. I see it among all of the participants in a baseball game, when I watch the televised games (which is most games). Managers, coaches and players are all guilty of wearing a mask over the mouth, but leaving their nose uncovered. Being a healthcare worker, it's like the proverbial fingernails on the chalkboard for me.

I understand that wearing a mask is especially uncommon for most Americans. I understand that wearing a mask is uncomfortable and hot. I understand that wearing a mask is a real pain in the arse. I also understand that many laypersons have extreme difficulty trying to comply with recommendations to protect themselves from something they can't even see. But can't y'all just take a leap of faith and do what's necessary to protect the people around you? Can't y'all just take a leap of faith to protect yourself from an invisible threat that indiscriminately could take your life at worst, and could make your life very complicated at least? None of this is a forever thing. But for now, this is what we all need to do to soften the impact of this pandemic, and reel in the numbers of those infected.


This month's cover, created by Meemaw, celebrates September 19, 2020 as International Talk Like A Pirate Day, and September 9, 2020, as Teddy Bear Day. Tux the Pirate stands with his foot atop an open treasure chest filled with Teddy Bears.


Until next month, I bid you peace, happiness, serenity, prosperity, and continued good health!

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