Greetings from Boonville, Missouri. Tonight I speak at Central Methodist University in Fayette. When I’m not speaking at colleges, I run my college speaking agency from my home office and write books. Consequently, there are many weeks where I don’t leave the hill my wife and I live on. Therefore whenever I head out, I’m probably more observant than most as to why the COVID-19 pandemic has lasted as long as it has.
Yesterday, as I waited in a crowded terminal at the Missoula airport to catch my first flight, numerous people were maskless—despite warning signs everywhere and announcements over the PA. A maskless woman sitting a few feet away from me was a classic. She set a food item on her lap and then proceeded to play on her phone. After twenty minutes, I finally spoke-up. She then took a pinch of her food, squealed “I’m eating!” and went back to her phone.
Then on the flight from Missoula to Minneapolis, two large, good ol’ boys from Texas sat in my row (I had the window). One of the men did the classic “Marjorie Taylor Greene look” of covering his mouth but not his nose. I debated whether it was wise to speak up, but by that time I was just pissed.
“Will you please pull your mask over your nose?” I asked in my most polite voice. “Thank you.”
The man yanked off his glasses and angrily shook them at me. “Do you want my glasses too! Every time I pull up my mask they fog up!”
“Hey,” I replied. “To get our tickets we all had to click and agree multiple times that we would wear masks over our mouth and nose. It’s the same for everybody.”
The man begrudgingly complied. Even so, there were certainly others on the airplane doing the same thing. I both feel sorry for and am upset with the airline terminal staff and the flight attendants. Other than making PA announcements, I’ve never once seen any of them do anything about the passengers who violate the federal aviation law. On the other hand, if they do, they will almost certainly end up in a very unpleasant, possibly violent, confrontation.
How sad that we have a certain segment of people (okay, mostly Trumpers) who violate the law, just looking for a fight. And no wonder the COVID-19 pandemic continues to go on and on and on.
Oh, and right now, my right-wing home state of Montana is #1 in COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. I went into Victor (my tiny home town) last week, stopped at two stores and the post office, and realized that I was quite literally the only person in the entire town wearing a mask. Way to go Montana! You earned/deserve your #1 ranking!