The week that was … The sound of Silence ! (Not)…
Strolling Thunder has earned its spot on the terrace…
This week we have had some gorgeous weather albeit 8-10 degrees and sunny. Yes, I know, not quite the tropics but awesome and appreciated. Jake the (ball) Destroyer has been in his element, loving being outdoors for many(more than normal) hours and by 10 am there is a line of tennis balls waiting near the back door and that expectant grin etched on his face.
Of course, it’s only 3-4 degrees then and we (I ) don’t venture out until 5 degrees , rules are rules Jake !
The MS grinch has visited again this week and the friends Aches & Pains stayed over. The positive was the few days of sun …lets leave it at that . Good tunes abound during the waking hours …even at 3am ( I did hear some owls calling which was brilliant …first time in a while )
This doesn’t make Lilly anxious so …great evening listening too😊
Despite the relative calm on the back terrace the world is still enduring the greatest challenge it has seen certainly in the last few decades, we have seen humanity at its best and worst and still it is not over ( Probably not for the rest of this year if we are realistic !)
This time calls for vigilance and discipline coupled with empathy and reason , something I believe our current demographics is sorely lacking.
However, there is always time to change.
It’s been a few interesting day reads this week, nothing new …Energy follows thought. Or as someone told me this week “So you think …so you radiate”, and what the world needs now is certainly some positivity, compassion, decisiveness, clarity , and above all faith. As I wrote last week the outlook is positive when communities come together to work towards a better future ( sounds too much like a flash card at a political gathering so I will stop now …)
The semiotics of face masks (A word (or few…) from Seth Godin).
It’s difficult to get adults to wear bicycle helmets. (I wrote about this on the blog 16 years ago).
The reason has nothing to do with comfort or safety. It has to do with signals.
Semiotics is the science of flags, signals and other communications. It studies the very human act of judging something (or someone) based on limited information as we seek the message behind the signal, all in a quest for belonging and social standing.
Even more than helmets, face masks make a statement.
Ten years ago, if you wore a face mask at work, you were either a surgeon, a carpenter or a bank robber.
As they began to spread, mainly in parts of Asia, the mask was interpreted by some non-mask wearers as either a generous act (the wearer doesn’t want to infect others) or something slightly paranoid.
Then, when the pandemic first arrived in the US, masks became the focus of hoarding. Like toilet paper, it was a way to sacrifice time and money to get something scarce and reassuring. People weren’t reading scientific journals, they were grasping. The hoarding had the unfortunate side effect of keeping masks from front-line medical workers who needed them. It also created a sense of false security because many of the people who were using them had no clue how to use them properly, causing them to be worse off than if they hadn’t had them at all.
If you wore a mask on Main Street as you shopped in early March 2020, it was probably not increasing your social standing.
And then, as some newspapers shifted their stance and homemade masks began to appear, the story changes again–worth noting that even fast fashion has never changed this fast.
And so the storytelling continues. “Why is that person wearing a mask,” the non-mask wearer asks themselves. Is it to shame me? To let me know that they’re ill and I should steer far away? Perhaps it’s a way of identifying them as anti-social, because, after all, I’m not wearing one… Or maybe they’re smarter than me and I’m behind?
The narratives may also be shifting from, “how do I protect myself?” which is a self-directed desire, to, “how do I keep others protected?” This is generally a hard sell in the world of the Marlboro Man, bespoke disposable water bottles and the Hummer.
Notice that none of these internal monologues have much to do with epidemiology or public health. Face masks might help, it’s not certain, but the semiotics of social standing and cultural posture happen long before we actively consider the science.
Whether or not you choose to wear a mask, drive a Prius or even a pickup truck, it’s worth remembering that because we’re human, we start with two things: What’s the story I’m telling myself, and what’s the story I’m telling everyone else.
The news broadcasts are all abuzz with drama and chaos stories. The sky is falling ( It may well be but it wont help to panic…not just yet anyhow) Again this week another gem…be wary of what you let in.
Read for yourself !
So much fear…time for an espresso.
And Jake…what’s the temperature outside …5 degrees yet ?
3 thoughts on “The week that was …”
I was looking for something in our supply cabinet yesterday. Low and behold a box of masks. I wiped the dust off the box and asked my wife…why did we ever get these masks? Her mother gave them to us when we had some construction going on years ago. The state I live in…wants everyone to wear a mask whether you are sick or not.
I walked into a store yesterday with a mask…I told the guy…the only time I thought I would wear a mask into a store is to hold them up…he got a kick out of it… luckily.
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How do I protect others? what a strange and welcome shift…
Humanity is being tested well and truly