late masking (too early)

we aren’t wearing
in beechworth

not yet

everyone . . .

every thing
is waiting

the toll of people
who have caught the virus
or tested positive
before they knew they had it
is rising

it’s still a city thing
you know

even though
we’ve had a lot of visitors
busting to tour
when the restrictions
first went up

even though
they didn’t . . .
exactly adhere
to social distances
and all that

it isn’t about us


I wore a mask
last summer

we all did

the fires were so many
and the smoke
so thick
there were days
when I couldn’t see
across my back yard
through it

most folk wore a mask
if they went
back then

the air tasted

a few months back
early on
in the first outbreak
I wore a mask
to the local supermarket

a lot of shoppers
and the feeling
was that it was me
who carried an illness

a little like
wearing a sign
around my neck
that proclaimed


to warn people away
from me

one fellow
with an intellectual disability
was out shopping
with a carer
and actually asked me
was I wearing it

when I told him
he swore at me
for being some kind
of social fool

apologized later
when his carer
had corrected him

we watch the city

the region around us

the larger towns

talk in huddles
about the carelessness
of the continuing stream
of visitors
pouring in from areas
not yet locked down
within the new geographic limits

and wait
for lightning to strike
our little town

may be the time

the signal

to break out
the masks

it seems too early

a little too early


42 thoughts on “late masking (too early)

  1. Be careful, and don’t wait too long! We are once again under almost full lock-down (about the only exception is that restaurants can serve sit-down dining if it’s outdoors, but not indoors). We haven’t yet been told again to stay home, but that’s not far off! This virus is so elusive that nobody quite knows what to believe — I dreamed the other night that the air is full of cooties (our 70-years-ago grade school term for germs) floating around ready to capture anybody with a breath in their body!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m back at work, now, in my psychiatric nursing role, so out and about and amongst folk on a daily basis.

      I’m being careful, but undoubtedly, not careful enough. That seems to be the standard, at present.

      It is all getting worse here, as well, and restrictions are on the way back, I think. Eerie times.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We’re in mid-summer, and school districts are making decisions about whether to open in the fall (some as early as mid August!). Yesterday, Los Angeles and San Diego Counties announced that their districts will open on-line only for all ages — but Orange County, between LA and SD, where I live, announced that they will open all schools as if nothing was different — no masks, no distancing. How confusing can that be for the poor parents who have jobs to worry about as well as the safety of their children! I’m back to staying at home as much as possible, and wearing a mask any time I am anywhere near other people. I think/hope that our elections in November will be the beginning of major change!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Crazy inconsistent. I’m generally staying home as well, if not working. Our numbers at work are stretched, as well.

        Can’t really see great endings. Years to come of recovery, at best, I think.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a case by case thing. We have a resident population, and strict arrangements regarding visitors to our unit. Guidance from on high, and a great willingness not to compromise our well being.

        All is good to date, while nothing is guaranteed. We’re in a much better position than most/many over here.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I agree — years of recovery, both in terms of public health and economic health. Beware of the idea that “it will tail off,” though — remember that Trump suggested in the beginning that there were 15 positives, and within a week or two there would be none! That statement can only be true with a lot of vigilance and hard work!

        Liked by 1 person

    • No Judy, it’s real – at least from one small perspective – my own!

      It’s a bit of a knife edge, but at a much lower base than in other countries, including the US.

      Today we hit 300 plus new cases and 2 deaths in 24 hours in my State. They think it might tail off.

      The neighbouring State is just starting to climb. Borders are closed between states, slightly different lock-down requirements in different parts of the country. They are attempting hard lockdowns by post code (Zip code) areas, in the city.

      Meanwhile, folk are still trying to scratch a living and pretending that it’ll all be ok.

      Too soon to tel anything much, but the country generally is reasonably united in following science rather than feeling and hunch.

      We’ll see.


  2. Best wear a mask, Frank. I understand that where there is no community transmission, there is no point, but we have all seen how a bit of preventative action, e.g.. Singapore, can make a difference. I wear my mask. People think I am strange and therefore keep their distance which is entirely the point. The embarrassment to which I am subject is the least of my concerns. Also, there will be others, perhaps more timid people, who will be equally concerned and they may be encouraged by your initiative to take the mask-wearing step.
    Take care, Frank. Commonsense and community action will prevail.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My first time out where people roam today, mask to hand, walking, footpaths either side the road signed one-way, ignored by most, almost as if daring to be told, never felt more glad to get home – England 2020 led by the undecided so most do as they please and damn the consequences.


    • There is a bizarre quality to the way folk are reacting to the pandemic. Denial to the fore, by and large, though our leaders (here in Oz) seem to be singing from the same song book for the moment, at least.

      Liked by 1 person

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