Let's talk about noses. Some are big; some are small. We all have them. They are there to help us breathe; even though many of us (myself included) are mouth breathers. They are part of our respiratory system. We sniff with them. They get congested with yucky stuff. Stuff that is thick and gross and makes breathing difficult and guarantees snoring. We blow them to get the gunk out. Some of us make a LOT of nose when we blow. (That would be me. I fully admit that I make really loud noises when I'm trying to clear my nose. It's embarrassing, but...) Some people even pick them (no judgement). Noses are a part of life.
Switching gears for a moment; let me talk about grocery shopping. I usually go the same ShopRite every Friday at 6 AM. That's when they open. When they opened at 7; that's when I was there. Now that they open at 6, I am there nearly every Friday right before 6. I usually bring my husband along with me. Once a upon a long ago, this was a Friday night event; a date night as it were. However, we are old, so now we go first thing in the morning. We can get it done quickly and I still have time to have coffee before work. (Easier now that my "office" is upstairs in my house versus the haul I used to have to make on route 3, but...) Of course there have been times when I go other days, but mostly you can count on us doing an early morning run on Friday.
Being Friday morning regulars, I know I will see certain people. Like the woman in the motorized scooter who is a musician. I don't know her name, but I see her and after I almost cut in front of her in line without realizing it, I've come to say hello and see how she is every week. There's Rich, the manager who opens the door every week; sometimes even a little before 6. There are the ladies behind the fish counter who are willing to cut a pound and a half of salmon for us along with another 1/3 of a pound that we will deliver to my "Aunt" Julie. There is Carole, the cashier, who is a sweet lady, but a little slow (usually because she's chatting away.) There's Vicki who is also chatty, but moves faster. (But we don't see her as much as she usually starts later on Fridays). There's Sandy, who I think is an assistant manager, but will man the register if there is a line (although she may have to stop and run to the self check out to assist in the middle of things.) In my own way I have come to know and care about these people.
Then there is the guy who restocks frozen vegetables. Since we are there early, there are always staff cleaning and stocking. I don't know them, but they are hard at work. Including the guy who stocks the frozen veggies. He's my age or older and he is always wearing a disposable mask that covers his mouth but NOT his nose. Now I KNOW all masks are not created equal; some masks continually slip down. It's annoying as heck, but when they slip, we've got to pull them back up. (Side note: I purchased 2 rather costly masks from Showtime.com because the design was reflective of Twin Peaks and they were supposed to have a portion of the cost go to charity. They were flimsy and CONSTANTLY slid down. I still have them, but I NEVER wear them. This is annoying and was a somewhat costly [at least when it comes to mask price] purchase that I regret, but...) I don't think this mask is slipping off this guy, but I could be wrong. I have never said anything...until today.
First I looked around to see if I could find a manager. There wasn't one in the area. So I nicely asked if he could cover his nose. He didn't look happy, but he didn't look angry. He pulled it up and went on his way down the aisle. I did my shopping and when I turned around a few minutes later (or maybe less), the mask was down again.
Today when we were checking out, the cashier was Sandy (the assistant manager). I really like Sandy. I really like everyone at this ShopRite. They are working hard and I want them to be safe. So I mentioned this to Sandy. She thought it was an overnight worker and I'm hoping she will look into.
I don't want this guy to get into trouble. I also don't want him to get sick. I don't want his family or his friends to get sick. I really don't want Sandy to get sick. I want everyone to stay safe and stay healthy.
I KNOW masks are a pain in the neck to put on every time we go out somewhere. They are not fun. Most people don't look "cool" in mask. As much as we try to make a fashion statement with them, I don't think anyone will mind when they don't HAVE to wear them. I can't wait for the day when I can walk into a store and see (and give) a full smile. (You can see a smile in someone's eyes.)
For now, masks are necessary. Masks need to be over the nose and the mouth. Think of what could be going UP your nose when you are unmasked. Just THINK of the stuff that comes out of your nose. (Go on, give your nose a blow right now and look at that tissue. Really look at what there is.) Do you want to share that with friends, family and strangers? Maybe toddlers wipe their snot on their moms and dads, but you shouldn't.
Keep your nose and all the goo that is in it to yourself; PLEASE. Cover your mouth AND your nose. PLEASE! Keep yourself safe; keep me safe. Keep those you love safe and keep those who you don't even know safe.
Wear a mask; cover that nose!