Selma Stories: “Play ball” — someday

Ken Robison

OK, now it’s getting personal.

Because COVID-19 numbers are still rising, my grandson Joaquin cannot begin kindergarten next month.

Distance-learning in kindergarten? Seriously?

When our Governor “opened up” the state (too soon, in my opinion) after a couple months of shelter-in-place, it was a strategy destined to fail. Unless, that is, we all cooperated.  

I know, we like to play the blame game during difficult times. We blame the President or the Governor. We blame our State, County and City officials. Our local school board. Our bosses, our parents, our children. Our neighbors and their dogs.

We do that instead of blaming ourselves.

This time, I suggest we look in the mirror and ask a simple question: Hey, dude, are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

The solution. We have heard it so often that we are becoming numb to it. Five words: Socially distance, wear a mask. 

It all comes down to a simple concept: Risk management. This virus is transmitted person to person in close quarters. If those persons are wearing masks, the risk of transmitting the virus goes way down. If they are not, the risk is high.

So our task is simple: Distance ourselves from people who are not in our immediate household, and wear a mask if we cannot do that.

Easy, right? Then why did so many of us not comply? Masks became plentiful, businesses were requiring them, banks and stores created socially distanced waiting areas, even marking arrows to facilitate traffic in the grocery aisles. 

Did we not wear a mask because it was uncomfortable? Even just for a 30-minute visit the market?

Did we not wear a mask because it was “freedom” thing? That’s the same lame argument we heard about wearing seatbelts in our cars or not being allowed to smoke in restaurants. 

Was our desire to party so intense that it kept us from considering the health of those  around us, including our families?

Well, now more of us are realizing that compliance with those simple tasks can keep us safe and bring back the economy.

Yes, it’s personal with me. I want all our children — including my grandson —to attend school. So socially distance and wear a mask.

I want to be able to sit down for a meal at my favorite local restaurants, so socially distance and wear a mask.

I want to attend movies, plays and concerts, so socially distance and wear a mask.

I want to get back to worshipping with my church family. So socially distance and wear a mask.

And more than all this, I am not OK with my friends and family being attacked by a virus because some folks refuse to socially distance and wear a mask.

And you should not be OK with that, either.

Peace and grace to all of you. Stay safe. 

Ken Robison
Selma, CA

Longtime Selma resident Ken Robison is a retired newspaper reporter, editor, columnist  and photographer. “Selma Stories” appears regularly in The Enterprise.

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