Dealing With It

Please give me a moment of your time and indulge me. This isn’t a tea-and-sympathy post or virtue signaling or me seeking validation or a crusade for a noble cause, it’s just something I need to get off my chest.

I just scheduled my third COVID test for Monday afternoon. I’ve had a slight head cold this entire weekend with a few other symptoms and while I probably don’t have the virus, I need to know for sure.

You can say I’ve bought into the fear mongering, or I’m falling for the media hype, or I’m overreacting or a Chicken Little. Whatever.

I would rather get tested every day and wear a mask until I have tan lines, than to pass it along to my coworkers or my family. I simply can’t take the chance and I can’t afford to be wrong.

In the past ten days there isn’t a single one of the 173 computers I’m responsible for that I haven’t touched. I’ve been in everyone’s office, workspace, cubicle and sat at every single desk. Social distancing is impossible for me.

I’m as careful as I can be but nothing is zero-risk and I live with the constant fear of being Patient Zero. If I spread this Cootie around, it endangers not only my friends but the children and families they work so hard to keep safe. My mask won’t protect me but it might protect you and all of them.

This isn’t a joke for me. I absolutely hope I am overreacting because I hate every second of this situation, just like you do. I appreciate the fact that we are all dealing with this as best we can, but I don’t really have the luxury of deciding whether or not to wear a mask or get tested. I have to assume all the horror stories are true because if they’re right, we’re in trouble. If they’re wrong, I’ve lost nothing but the respect of people who don’t believe any of it. I can live with that.

This is my duty and my responsibility and it’s also a choice I make out of respect and affection for the people I am surrounded by. I simply cannot handle the idea of spreading this virus to anyone. Even when I’m off work, I spend most of my free time alone for all the same reasons. I haven’t had a hug or a kiss or so much as a shoulder squeeze in, well, a while. So I’m paying for this, and I hate every day of it but I’ll keep it up as long as I need to. Let’s hope Netflix keeps cranking stuff out because it fills some of those hours.

I’ve had several people who have spoken to me with their legitimate issues regarding masks and why they can’t wear them. I’m not a monster, I understand and support those concerns. It’s the defiant, belligerent, utter refusal to do the *literal* bare minimum to keep me safe that I can’t abide. I’m not in a high risk group and my concern isn’t for myself, but I can infect fifty people in one afternoon without knowing it. You might be one.

I want everyone to live to see these days behind us forever, including the people who roll their eyes in the grocery store when I put on my mask, or the people who claim Bill Gates is going to microchip us. Let’s just all get through this, the sooner the better. Put your mask on.

Matt Grigsby
Matt Grigsby was born and raised in Redding but has often felt he should have been born in Italy. By day he's a computer analyst toiling for the public good and by night he searches airline websites for great travel deals. His interests include books, movies, prowling thrift shops for treasure and tricking his friends into cooking for him. One day he hopes to complete his quest in finding the best gelato shop in Italy.
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119 Responses

  1. Deborah Segelitz Deborah Segelitz says:

    Agree 100%. I just don’t see the big deal with wearing a mask. It’s uncomfortable, sure. But if my husband, who has bronchiectasis, asthma and COPD can wear a mask for four-plus hours in a stuffy dialysis room during his treatments, then so can pretty much everyone else.

    I despair that something so simple, so basic, and so EASY, is something that so many just refuse to do on the grounds of… I don’t even know. Whatever their “reasons” all I really see are people who don’t give a crap about anyone else.

    Every time I see someone wearing a mask (and around here, it’s infrequently), I beam a silent ‘thank you’ to them for caring enough about others to wear the dang masks. And that thanks goes to you, too, keeping your corner of the world that little bit safer.

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      That’s the thing…the simplicity of this action! How does anyone feel so oppressed that THIS is where they choose to stand their ground? THIS is the thing they simply cannot support?

      It’s baffling, forever.

      • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

        If I may, I’d like to offer a little aside.

        “This isn’t a tea-and-sympathy post or virtue signaling . . . ”

        I, for one, feel that virtue signaling doesn’t get nearly the respect it deserves.

  2. Avatar Erika Kilborn says:

    Absolutely!! I get enraged when I am out and about (which is not often) and I see people breaking the protocols. No masks, no social distancing, just acting like selfish idiots. Sadly, Long Island is full of them.

    Matt, you keep doing the right thing and stay safe and healthy!

  3. Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

    I can think of two conservative friends who wear masks themselves, yet won’t encourage others to do so. I wish they would be leaders, but I guess they don’t want to be known as agreeing with that Democrat in Sacramento.

    I wonder how wearing a mask became yet one more thing that divides people along political lines, and then I remember what one friend wrote: “If we learned that earth was going to be hit by a huge asteroid next week, people would turn it into a political issue.”

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      I cannot for the life of me understand how this issue feel into the public divide. How do POLITICS affect something like a virus? The funeral home doesn’t care how you voted.

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        I don’t understand how you don’t understand, Matt. The Covid virus has been politicized from the very beginning, mostly by the left that criticized every move the president made. Not that the right isn’t guilty either. They most certainly are. Like Biden calling the president ‘hysterical’ for initiating the China travel restrictions. That was purely politics. The left leapt at the chance to damage the president on this issue. Just read the copious amount of comments on these pages as an example. I think our country is unique where the pandemic has been so highly politicized…you don’t see this level of division in other countries, and has certainly hurt our response.

        ..and Hal, I wear a mask when appropriate, but not all the time. I am not a mask cop…I’m not going to hound others for not wearing one, I mind my own business. There is plenty of data out there that shows the chance of catching the virus from casual contact at stores is extremely rare which is why I don’t get too worked up over masks or no masks. I also had a positive antibody test, so I feel a bit like Superman right now. The recent uptick in positive cases is not from grocery stores…but more than likely from the millions of people out protesting spraying Covid while chanting . But you didn’t hear much outrage over that, did you?

        With that being said, it is silly to have the political divide over masks…I got caught up in a bunch of You Tube videos from people (mostly middle aged white women) having a hissy fit over mask requirements in stores. They are quite amusing. We went to Kahunas Mongolian BBQ for the first time last night. The staff was wearing masks, very few customers were, I wasn’t. They required masks and gloves when you create your own BBQ bowl. I had Sushi.

        • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

          Doug,
          Just curious how you were able to get the antibody test?
          I know you can get one at the walk in clinic on hilltop at a reasonable out of pocket cost. Was your test from an FDA approved testing kit?
          After several requests to my private doctor as well as the VA, I was told I could not get the test from them.

          • Avatar Annelise says:

            Chad, if you donate blood at Vitalant they provide you antibody results free. There’s also a critical blood shortage right now. 🙂

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Because I went to the VA urgent care with symptoms back in December, and was told by the Dr at that time I had a nasty virus. My primary care doctor last month saw it in my file during my check up and requested the test.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            My positive test proves the belief of many that the virus hit California much earlier than first thought. Which I think helped in flattening the curve. In my new job, I come in contact with Chinese nationals new to the country rather frequently. I’m assuming that is how I caught it. I got sick on December 21st and went to VA urgent care on Dec 27th because I wasn’t getting any better. Normally when I catch a flu bug, which is rare, I have a mild case for less than 24 hours. With this one, I was sick in bed for about a little over a week and had coughing and upper respiratory issues all the way through February. It was brutal to say the least.

        • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

          Doug, I would not suggest that you act as a “mask cop,” but I hope that you’ll encourage folks to wear them.

          • Avatar Ed Marek says:

            Does everybody understand that the facts (as related by Mr. Cook) only prove that he got a bad cold last December?

            Doug Cook June 29, 2020 at 2:09 pm

            “My positive test proves the belief of many that the virus hit California much earlier than first thought…”

            And that the statement above is objectively false?

            I should have time to explain this evening, if necessary.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Hal. I can’t get my wife and kids to listen to me. I don’t like my chances with complete strangers

          • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

            Doug, I feel ya there.

        • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

          Doug, please. Biden isn’t in charge here, the Dumpster Fire in the White House is, and he made things a hundred times worse.

          I’m not taking your bait and I’m not engaging in whatabouts, deflections, straw men or wild goose chases. I’m discussing my experiences and my choices. Write your own articles, please.

          Thank you for the details of your dining experience.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Matt. That wasn’t my intention. Just reiterating the fact that the virus had been politicized since the beginning by both the left and right. I’m not throwing any bait out there

        • Avatar Gayle says:

          Doug, the President was informed of this Virus the end of December. He could have begun working on it then, but no, he waited until the end of January to say or do anything! He has the responsibility to LEAD this nation not tweet his BS LIES! Fortunately for New York and California, we had a governor that was smart enough to get out and work for us unlike the so called President. It is ignorant people like you who choose to not protect those of us who are vulnerable to this virus. Grow up and cooperate!

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Gayle…can you show me where the president was informed of the virus in December? In early January China didn’t even know what was happening. At the time,…in early January according to China there was no evidence that the virus was readily spread by humans. What would you have had the president do with the information that was known at that time? Gov Newsom didn’t issue stay at home orders and shut down the economy until late March, after the CDC recommended no gatherings of 50 or more people in the U.S.So what did the governor do that was much better?

        • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

          “I think our country is unique where the pandemic has been so highly politicized…you don’t see this level of division in other countries…”

          Actually, I encourage to take a close look at the bungled COVID response being reported in Brazil. They have fired several health ministers, are at odds over HCQ, and building cases, hospitalizations, and death toll like crazy.

          I think it’s because Bolsonaro and Trump are birds of a feather.
          But, hey, what do I know?

        • Avatar Joanne Snyder says:

          Thanks for that information Doug. So many people were ill in December. If more of these people tested positive, it would increase the likelihood that this virus was in our area, and a couple of other areas in the country before the first official positive test in 2020.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Joanne, I feel blessed that I got as sick as I was early on. That day I was scheduled to go to a large family Christmas get together which included my 92 year old father. I would have been devastated if I infected family members and my elderly father. What saved the day was I was planning on flying my airplane down, but felt I wasn’t well enough to pilot a plane.

          • Avatar Ed Marek says:

            It is sad to see anyone taken in by Mr. Cook’s childish hoax, his claim that the cold he caught last December was actually COVID-19.

            COVID-19 was not present in North California at that time, as subsequent developments have proven beyond any doubt. Had there been community transmission in Mid-December, as Mr. Cook has related in his several variations of his tale, by the beginning of February North California’s hospitals and morgues would have been overflowing with COVID-19 victims.

            Look at how quickly COVID-19 is spreading today, despite the seasonal advantage (hot weather suppressive effect) and all the efforts that are being maintained by sensible residents. If we had had an outbreak here in December, with no awareness of the pandemic and no “socially distancing” practices in place, we would have ranked with Wuhan or Northern Italy as one of the sites of the world’s earliest major COVID-19 outbreaks.

            If Mr. Cook ever actually had COVID-19, it must have occurred at a much later date. The odds today are believed to be under one-in-a-hundred for Shasta County residents to have been infected, but then again Mr. Cook has written quite openly about his efforts to increase his odds of infecting himself, and others.

            And that is the saddest thing about Mr. Cooks assertion that he recently tested positive on an antibody test. If true, and not a false positive result, Mr.Cook almost certainly passed his infection one or more other victims.

            And those COVID-19 victims, knowingly or not, subsequently passed the virus on… again and again.

            This is precisely why all sensible people are wearing masks in public and practicing “social distancing”, so that they will not have to live with the knowledge that they also have passed an immense burden of suffering and death on others by their selfish and irresponsible behavior.

          • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

            “…so you think Biden wasn’t talking about the travel ban when he called the president hysterical and xenophobic?”

            In that timeframe – in the earliest days of the pandemic – there were some events taking place that got glossed over in the urgency to understand the SARS dilemma.
            In January of 2020, Trumps poor relationship with scientists at the EPA had taken a more southern turn, and the unionized members filed a scientific “Bill of Rights” motion with the Union of Concerned Scientists to safeguard the integrity of ongoing research determined to be vital to environmental policy.
            I think the comment was in reaction to trump’s ongoing refusal of good science, dating back to 2012 commentary regarding the “fakes news” of global warming and the “hoax” of climate change.

            Face it, Doug. The guy has a well-established history of denying good science. He takes off on any fringe science that suits his agenda, like his take on HCQ. That makes him hysterical…

            The xenophobic part of that commentary comes from his continued references regarding immigration, his obsession with the Border Wall, and his history of failures in securing sound, responsible immigration policy. Xenophobia is a common American trait, particularly amongst pilots that prefer Boeing over Airbus just because Boeings are American.

            Everyone knows Airbus makes a superior product, right?

        • Avatar Rebecca N says:

          Factcheck.org

          As we have reported, on Jan. 31, the day the travel restrictions were announced, Biden, campaigning in Iowa, said that as the pandemic unfolds, Americans “need to have a president who they can trust what he says about it, that he is going to act rationally about it.” He added, “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia – hysterical xenophobia – and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science.”

          Biden didn’t mention Trump’s travel restrictions on foreign nationals who had recently traveled to China in his speech, so it’s unclear what he meant when he criticized Trump’s “hysterical xenophobia.” The Biden campaign told us the candidate wasn’t referring to the travel rules, but rather to what it called Trump’s “long record of scapegoating others at a time when the virus was emerging from China.”

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Rebecca, so you think Biden wasn’t talking about the travel ban when he called the president hysterical and xenophobic? That was the president’s real first move after declaring a state of emergency. What do you think Biden was talking about? Bernie Sanders at the same time said he wouldn’t consider closing the U.S. border to prevent the spread of the virus and condemned what he called the president’s xenophobia.

            Biden of course flip flopped on the issue and now supports the travel restrictions. So trying to explain what he actually meant is meaningless.

  4. Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

    Down here in Arizona even hard right politicians such as Governor Ducey, Senator McSally and Rep Lesko are now wearing masks inside.

    • Avatar Anita Brady says:

      The key word is “now”. Sadly, MANY horrible injuries and deaths will occur because of their COVID Hoax message for many months. They never stood up to the FoxNews 24/7 mantra of COVID over-reaction, and they chose to parrot the Orange Cockwomble.

      • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

        Anita, I agree that some of them are wearing them NOW. How many people were infected before they came to this enlightenment?

    • Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

      The key word is now but the Liberals on here would rather place the blame than support the now message. If Shasta County had the total population of Anderson marching unmasked arm in arm spewing their COVI droplets on everything and everyone every night you might feel different.
      Shasta County has no clue what it is like living in a full blown COVI explosion and I hope you never have to live through it.

  5. Avatar Kathy says:

    I totally agree.
    I’m at the point that when grocery shopping that I may wear a sign saying “want another 3 months of quarantine?” Wear a mask.
    Yesterday I had to hold my tongue in Raley’s . Too many people, mostly under 50 without masks. I mentioned this to an employee and she told me that they try to give a handout to maskless customers and they will just toss it.
    So many establishments have made extraordinary efforts to stay open and to keep their customers safe.
    Just mind boggling .
    ??

    • Avatar Anita Brady says:

      I have my curbside grocery order ready to go for Raley’s. It works really well. Also makes sure that I don’t load things in my grocery cart spontaneously as I wander the store.

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      At this point I’m only seeing about 50/50 of people wearing masks in the store. It’s mind blowing. I recently saw a sign that said “Mask it or Casket” and I think that’s as clear and as blunt as it can be.

  6. Avatar Amy says:

    Thanks Matt. I’m in total agreement. I know you have coworkers who disagree, as do I. I’ll continue to wear mine.

  7. Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

    You nailed it, Matt. So much furor over such a tiny inconvenience. Although she complies, my sister whines about wearing one. I wrote to her that a mask for the few minutes she’s in a store is minor requirement compared to being in an ICU for weeks on a ventilator with an IV drip keeping her alive. I say to all the shirkers, put on your big girl panties or big boy boxers and save lives.

  8. Avatar Rebecca N says:

    Thanks Matt, I agree totally. I’m disappointed that people are refusing to wear masks and politicizing it. Did this happen back when they required drivers to wear seatbelts? Or is it just a sign of our polarized times? My dog keeps me company at home. When I’m at work I usually wish I was with my dog since I work with mask deniers and all lives matter men…..
    Stay safe. ???

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      I think there was some blowback on seatbelts, but by golly we all wear them now! The politics of safety make absolutely no sense to me.

  9. Avatar Boojum14 says:

    Good luck with your test. I was locally tested last Monday and just received the results this morning. Surprised how long it took. Makes it difficult if you are getting tested so you can feel reasonably confident that you are unlikely to pass the virus on to other folks.

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      My first test took two days and the second one took five. I’m assuming that’s due to the increased testing, which hopefully they can eventually speed up results too.

  10. Avatar Laurie says:

    Thanks, Matt, for this sane and passionate plea. Sadly, I’m afraid these covidiots are determined to kill us all — in the name of their much-vaunted “freedom,” of course.

    I just slogged through 70 (that’s right, SEVENTY) pages of a comment thread of a “Let’s See Him Try to Enforce It!” post my neighborhood NextDoor app — 70 pages rife with laughably phony “scientific” reasons why masks are in fact EXTREMELY DANGEROUS to wear, along with even more absurd explanations why concerns about the virus are all phony — they know that it’s really the next step in the New World Guv’mint takeover — which will of course take away all their guns, with which some are eagerly suggesting they use to protect their God-given ‘Murrikan right to infect their fellow citizens.

    Yep, many are championing deliberately infecting others in the pursuit of “herd immunity” — i.e., let’s kill off a good chunk of the old/compromised folks so we can once again, unimpeded by lib’rul nonsense, get our barber-shop buzzcuts and return to the essential business of bar crawlin’!

    I fondly recall the good old innocent days when these folks were just upset about the specious Obama “death panels” — now they’re the ones eager to push us grandmas off the cliff into the Great Beyond, all in the name of protecting the ‘Murrikan Way — aka end-stage disaster capitalism.

    As a thirty-year resident here, seeing the local mentality go from just plain dumb and mean to proudly and outrageously insane, I have little hope that they’ll change their ways; in fact, I’m seeing the conspiracy theories get more preposterous as time goes by and the pandemic worsens.

    As long as their fearless (ha!) leader says the word, they will eagerly comply, now deliberately exposing their own families and communities to this deadly virus. This proudly ignorant self-sabotage goes far beyond survival — it’s a tribal identity issue that trumps even survival. To them, it’s not the virus, but we clueless “lib snowflakes” (at this point, defined as anyone who believes in science or dares to wear a mask) that are the true lethal threat that must be eradicated.

    With our previously low numbers starting to soar, I’m afraid that Shasta County, like much of the rest of the U.S., will soon become a textbook example of politically manipulated idiocy destroying a community.

    • Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

      Terrific post, Laurie. I was thinking just yesterday that maybe Shasta County isn’t the place I want to live. It seems to be a microcosm of idiocy that no amount of evidence can cure.

    • Avatar Jist Cuz says:

      ONLY IN ‘MERIKKKA TIMOTHY LEARY +!+

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      Some of the crazier conspiracy theories just seem to take root around here. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen something on Facebook that is obviously fake, and once I’ve shown it’s wrong the post will still stay up because “this one may be wrong but this is where we’re headed anyway” and there it sits, to be shared and reshared over and over.

    • Avatar Rob Belgeri says:

      Nextdoor is a sewer. I glance at it in case I recognize one of the lost animals whose pictures get posted. It’s valuable for 1) returning lost pets to owners and 2) getting referrals for home maintenance or improvement. That is all.

      • Avatar Laurie says:

        Yes, that is a useful service. Whenever I see a lost pet post, I plug in my list of local Facebook Lost Pets groups (very useful in reuniting pets and their people). Other than that, NextDoor offers perhaps the clearest view online of what a community is really like. I’ve looked at several other towns’ NextDoors, and haven’t found a single one that’s that’s anywhere near as hateful or stupid. But Redding — sadly, and soon, looking at the comment thread, tragically — is indeed a sewer.

  11. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    Hey Matt,

    I disagree with you. Yours is indeed a noble cause.

    What nobler than protecting others? Besides, the science stands by your decision:

    https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/06/417906/still-confused-about-masks-heres-science-behind-how-face-masks-prevent

    That thare piece was rote by one o’ them gen-u-ine collij grad-u-ates sos you kin feel reel sekure that it’s well rote stuff and prolly resurched reel good too.

    I tend to have fun with my masks, though. Your basic N-95 is too….sterile.
    I colorize mine. Paint ‘em up with smiley faces, big noses, preposterous snaggletooth grins.

    Folks in general are more tolerant if you don’t look like you’re headed into triage, and guys especially are a bit less concerned if you’re not an immediate reminder of their last DRE. The smiley face is always a big hit with youngsters – and the American flag never seems to go out of style.

    Anyway, the choice is yours. You’ve already made a wise one.
    Keep up the good work.
    Thanks for the read…

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      Thanks so much for the support Bill, and I think your approach of personalizing your masks is a sound one. I particularly love the American flag mask idea!

  12. Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

    Matt,

    Thank you sir for your Covid 19 personal concern and civic due diligence. I’m thinking that if we all behaved as you try to behave, we would be in much better shape than we are today. In fact, your concern for all people is indeed noble and an attribute seriously lacking in all levels of our me, myself and I, society.

    Maybe we can take one thing from the Covid and that is we all have to lean how to have more concern for others than we do in today’s world. Social distancing and a masks is a simple and scientifically proven way to show that.

    Thanks agian

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      I completely agree that this is a good time to assess our individual approach to life and see things more as a community and civic duty. I have to believe some good can come out of this.

  13. Avatar Linda Cooper says:

    Matt, and other fellow mask people –
    I wear a mask and gloves on a rare event I’m in a store. I wore a mask with respect for the plumber who had to do some outside work. And he wore a mask as well. I’m struggling this morning, because yesterday the nice neighbors had a “social distancing” birthday party for their five year old. We brought our masks, however, nobody was wearing one. We caved to peer pressure! Ought to have simply dropped the gifts off and left. The hopefully good news is that there were only 20 people, and folks kept six feet away outside.

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      The social pressure is very intense right now, and it’s hard to stand your ground and wear your mask and keep your distance. Very hard. But I’m trying to see this as a chance to set an example, and maybe other people wanted to do it too but got nervous. We never know the influence we can have!

      • Avatar Linda Cooper says:

        What a sweet, non-judgmental reply! I have (hopefully) lived and learned. And to your point about setting examples, and others wanting to wear masks, yeah a woman I spoke with at the gathering, also said she had her mask in her pocket, but wasn’t wearing it because other weren’t. So, I will try and not beat myself up, and I have learned. Again, thank you for your article. Hell, I’m 70, who gives a rip about what I think? Stand my ground! Or not participate.

        • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

          Definitely do NOT beat yourself up about it. These are crazy times and no one really knows what to do right now. We’re all just faking our way through the day and doing our best. 🙂

  14. Avatar Pamela McCurdy says:

    Hang in there Matt and thank you for writing. You are doing the right thing and I appreciate you. I am disappointed in Redding business owners/managers who begged to open but won’t enforce mask wearing inside their businesses. I’m thinking of Raley’s and Tractor Supply who have curbside delivery but no mask enforcement. I’m amazed at Dr. Billington’s office who don’t need masks. Or Wyntour Gardens. Target and Lowes. Dollars over Disease. Selfish and irresponsible.

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      That’s an excellent point, that many businesses clamored to open but won’t enforce the simple safety rules to stay open. We’re going to end up doing this dance forever.

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

        “We’re going to end up doing this dance forever.”

        Existing models guesstimate current COVID infection case number at ~5% in the US.
        For simple discussion, let’s assume it took 6 months to get here. A low end goal for herd immunity is approx 60%. High end 70%. On a linear scale, that’s 12 each 6 months’ at 5%… = 5 years.

        Such viral diseases often go non-linear, and that’s my bet here. Unless we buckle down and really pay attention to non pharmaceutical interventions, we are headed for herd immunity in the US within 2 – maybe 2-1/2 years. That’s assuming no vaccine is presented and no prophylactic curative is introduced.

        This pathway to herd immunity will leave an unconscionable trail of deaths, so I am also hoping to be wrong in at least 50% of my assumptions, and also that the unlikely prospect of an effective vaccine becomes reality within 18 months.

  15. Avatar Randy says:

    Are there any grocery stores around that require masks?

  16. Avatar Steve DuBois says:

    I wonder how many people who’ve been asymptomatic and wear masks, have prevented others from getting sick? We’ll never know. That’s too bad; it would help people with the understanding.

    Some people I’ve talked with who don’t wear masks, mention Trump. He’s the biggest problem. As a leader, he needs to set an example. (He’ll never be an example of anything but lies and corruption).

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      I’ve wondered the same thing about asymptomatic people and masks. Since we’ll never know how many there are, we have to assume they’re everywhere. Which is kind of the point.

  17. Avatar Jennifer says:

    Thank you, Matt!

  18. Dearest Matt, thank you for this logical, compassionate, well-reasoned post. I agree with Bill, above. Yours IS a noble cause.

    On FB the other day someone asked what the difference was between when people voluntarily wore masks during the Carr Fire, and now, when so many of those same folks who wore masks during the Carr Fire refuse a governor’s mandatory mask requirement. Here’s the difference: the Carr Fire masks protected individuals, while the mandated masks protect everyone. It’s a sad commentary.

    Matt, I wish more people took the virus as seriously as you do. Thank you!

    Stay safe. xod

    • Avatar Jist Cuz says:

      The smoke was sooooooo thick that even a blind man could see it HAK HAK HAK +!+

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      Doni, I think you you’re spot on with regards to the difference between masks during the fires and masks now. These are crazy times indeed.

  19. Avatar Anita Brady says:

    As community leaders stay silent,

    citizens make very poor decisions and spread the virus with abandon.

    As community leaders stay silent,

    law enforcement gives a wink and a nod to those who make bad choices.

    As community leaders stay silent,

    our numbers continue to rise with no sign of slowing down.

    As community leaders stay silent,

    the Governor tells us that our finances will suffer as a result.

    As community leaders stay silent,

    more and more citizens lives are endangered, their health is put at risk.

  20. Avatar Carl R Bott says:

    If it makes any difference to the conversation I have noticed a lot more people wearing masks than before. Safeway, Ace Hardware, and other stores. The percentages have jumped up. I have an assortment of masks ranging from homemade cloth to my Punisher emblem mask. In fact, we have ordered KCNR masks for our staff and listeners.

    • I appreciate you for wearing a mask, Carl. Thank you!

      I don’t get out much, but last week I went to three places where I was the minority of mask-wearers.

      1. I noticed that at the Grocery Outlet on Eureka Way there was a sign outside on the door saying masks were required. Inside the store, employees wore masks, but I was in the mask-wearing minority among customers. I asked a clerk about it, and she said they can’t enforce the order.

      2. At the Dollar Tree (don’t judge) there was also a sign, and inside, again, the employees wore masks, but I was in the mask-wearing minority among customers.

      3. Finally, at Walmart (again, don’t judge … I had to return an inflatable kayak I’d ordered online), there was the requisite sign, and inside it was a mix of employees who actually wore the masks properly and those who had the masks around their necks. I was absolutely in the mask-wearing minority.

      I believe we won’t see more mask-wearing compliance until the public starts seeing deaths of people close to them. Then the risk will become real. Right now, it’s abstract.

    • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

      Great news KCNR will be providing masks to its listeners.
      I read that correctly, didn’t I?

    • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

      Carl, you don’t need no dang mask—everybody knows that viruses run from U.S. Marines.

  21. Avatar PATRICIA WALKER says:

    I have wanted to say something to the people who will not wear a mask while in a public place. I realized it would be a waste of time with them. They know but do not care. I now notice with more masks appearing, the maskless ones stand out like the old sore thumb thing. I hope they feel weird when so many have their masks. I have people who rely on me to care for them who are older and have various medical issues making them prime targets for the unmasked. I am 72 years old myself but in pretty good health. I think the time has come for me to speak out anyway. I say call them out and let them know what we think of them risking the lives of others. I will speak up now.

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      For those of us on the Mask Wearing Train, I think visibility is important. I’ll wear mine even if I’m the only one in the store with a mask, people need to see us. Good for you on speaking up and being heard!

  22. Frank Treadway Frank Treadway says:

    Does puzzle me when I see a Mom and her 3 kids in a cart in Costco without masks, wore them to get in, then removes them. What kind of numbers does it take for folks to get on board. Masks are available everywhere. For the Netflix crowd: Babyon Berlin, Dear White People, The Politician and Tales of the City are just a few that should take you through the end of the year when a vaccine is supposed to be avaliable. A vaccine trial is taking place here in Redding for those who want to be part of such.

    • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

      “What kind of numbers does it take for folks to get on board?”

      We’ll soon see, Frank. The CALCAT predictive modeling system is up and accessible. It has especially designed input parameters to customize the chimeric model to a large degree. The current prediction for Shasta County is far from reassuring.

      The existing Rt valuation for Shasta is amongst the highest in all CA, and the predicted death toll in the coming 30 days is over 50. Think those numbers might inspire some compliance.?

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

        Here’s the link to CALCAT. Valuable tool, just takes the appropriate mindset to get past the morbidity of it. Keep in mind, it’s not a fortune telling machine. It makes predictions based upon statistical assumptions, and those assumptions are always evolving, subject to change, and can be modified greatly by behavior, prevention, and PPE applications.

        https://calcat.covid19.ca.gov/cacovidmodels

  23. Mistress of the Mix Mistress of the Mix says:

    I was in Lassen County this weekend, which had zero cases until recently, when 4 people showed up in the community, and that number quickly doubled to 8, and now its 12. Out in public. In the Susanville prison, a whopping 208 prisoners and I believe one employee have contracted it. They’re just not being counted in the ‘public’ caseload. I digress. I ordered a pizza. I showed up to pick it up, and I was the ONLY person wearing a mask. Even the employees making our food didn’t have masks. At least people kept their distance from me….I sorta think they thought I might’ve been the contagious one. Whatev.

  24. Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

    I was in Winco, Grocery Outlet, and Eureka Natural Foods this morning. I did not see anyone without a mask inside the stores. There are a few anti-maskers here in Humboldt but if they want to shop at these stores, they wear a mask – or go to the very few that aren’t enforcing it.

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      I wish we would reach that level here. It would be so easy but somehow that’s just too much to ask people.

  25. Avatar Candace says:

    Hi Matt, thank you for testing, thank you for wearing a mask and I’m sorry you’re being put in a position where it’s impossible for you to socially distance yourself from others. The last thing is what pisses me off the most. I totally agree with all you said and would like to add that the best way to keep others safe is to STAY HOME if you’re financially able to do so and if you’re financially able to have groceries delivered or use curbside pickup as many do. Our country has asked people to make sacrifices that have lasted longer than the 3+ mos of our initial Shelter At Home directive and we managed to survive. Was it easy? No. Is this easy? No. That said it’s much easier than past sacrifices; WWII comes to mind. Soldiers didn’t say “This is too hard; I’m going home”. For those of you who will say “There it is, Godwin’s Law, lol” in reference to my WWII analogy; I truly don’t care; both were/are wars against a common foe; this foe happens to be a deadly virus. My 87 yr old step-dad fell in his home 3 days ago. Neither myself or anyone else are allowed to visit him at Mercy Hospital. I just spoke with a nurse and there’s a good chance he’ll need to go to a Rehab facility to regain his strength before he can go home. If that happens he’ll be quarantined in a room with another patient for 14 days and then moved to another shared room. No visitors will be allowed for the entirety of his stay. The only “good” thing is that the one facility I called currently has no Covid cases. This is exactly the nightmare scenario I’ve been worried about. My stepdad is a big guy with a large personality who can be both sweet and a cantankerous ol’ coot but he’s still got his wits about him and like many of us is fiercely independent. I’m hoping he’ll be able to go home and continue with the caregiver companions with which he’s used to chumming around with. Sorry for the long, personal post and please excuse my language but as Matt says WEAR A DAMN MASK AND IF YOU’RE ABLE, STAY THE F **K HOME. Matt, take good care and again, from me personally to you THANK YOU, I appreciate you.

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      Candace I hope your stepdad is back up and being sassy and cantankerous soon. If we all wear our masks, the risks to folks like your stepdad are minimal and we can all move forward with our lives. I fear this may not be the case but we can do what we’re doing, knowing it’s the right thing. Stay safe.

  26. Avatar Tammy says:

    My granddaughter wears her mask 9 hours a day at the university hospital where she works on the surgical ward. She doesn’t want to bring the virus home to her children or spouse. Both she and he are essential workers. She sure doesn’t like the acne that the mask causes her from long days of wearing them. The less people take this virus seriously, the longer the quarantine will be. Just do it for the children who are not going to be able to wear masks!

  27. Avatar Bachelors in Microbiology says:

    Perhaps the best thing about wearing a mask is they usually keep the maskless ones at least 6 feet away. Wearing one magically parts the Red Sea.

  28. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    “…that benefit is enhanced when you wear a jock strap on your face…”

    Don’t give up all your secrets at once, Hal.
    The general public really has no idea how crazy pilots can be.
    If they knew, they might never fly again…

    • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

      I also have some past experience as a backcountry guide, and know a lot of guides throughout the American West. One time, while working the Heaven’s Gate Complex fire outside of Riggins, ID back in the early 2000s, I incidentally ran into a group of white water folks I’d shared time with – folks to whom I would entrust my life, as I had in circumstances past.

      My pilot and I got invited to an after hours beach party along the Middle fork of the Salmon River, not far from Riggins, and were told to set a low bar for clothing expectations. My pilot was a big kid – robust, athletic, good-looking, inexperienced. The gals on the boating crew went absolutely apeshit over him, and I didn’t see him again till morning.

      When they were done with him, they dropped him off at my camp 10 minutes before we were due for fire briefing, wearing nothing but tennis shoes and a bow tie. I really had to hustle to get him in order. They had a good laugh at his expense. So did I. That pilot and I became lifelong friends once we got past that day. Craziest SOB I ever met.

      • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

        Heh. Bill, I could tell lots of stories about crew chiefs and A&P folks who kept me out of trouble in my early years as a rotary-wing jock, but I’m not sure I’d dare tell them. 🙂

    • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

      Bill, you’ve touched on why I’ve often bought dinner for A&P folks. Gratitude, yes, but also a subtle bribery. 🙂

  29. Avatar Christine says:

    Cremeria Funivia is Bologna has some of the best gelato I have ever had. My husband probably went twice a day once we tripped upon it. Once American travelers are welcomed back to Europe, you should check it out.

  30. Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

    Arizona Governor Ducey has declared a 30 day shut down on bars, gyms, water parks, movie theaters and extended schools closed to end of July. There is also a ban on gatherings of 60 or more people even with social distancing and it will be enforced by local authorities.
    My public officials get it now, do yours?

    • Avatar Ed Marek says:

      If Arizona “public officials” truly understood the situation, bruce, those restrictions, and even more severe ones, would have been imposed weeks ago.

      And the same could be said for California, and the vast majority of the other states.

      The pandemic is an international problem, that obviously required an American-led international response when it first arose ~six months ago.

      The whole world looks on in horror and pity, as America can’t mount a coherent national response, even at this very late date.

  31. Avatar Candace says:

    Bruce, no, they don’t, which is infuriating and which is what most people here are saying; mask wearing isn’t being enforced here in Shasta County. Ok? Satisfied? Enough of the comparison stuff yet? Not helpful in any way; changes nothing for us here in Shasta County who are dealing with the repercussions of the non-compliance and non-enforcement.

    • Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

      Candace, I simply pointed out how even hard right Republicans in Arizona were masking up. I was taken to task by a poster and the author, who I was agreeing with, that the NOW response had cost lives. Instead of asking how many lives will be saved by many Republicans now changing their views the Liberals still want to blame.
      Don’t want to hear about Arizona, don’t mention it.

      • Avatar Candace says:

        Bruce, I’ll be sure to mention the different state’s Republican/Liberal mask blame thing to my step-dad tomorrow when I call him before his surgery at the hospital where no visitors are allowed; because of course that’s the important takeaway from Matt’s opinion piece. Thanks for your concern, I’m sure he’ll appreciate it; I know I do.

  32. Avatar Ed Marek says:

    7 more cases and four more hospitalizations reported today in Shasta county, and the regional (nine North state county) trends and numbers may be even worse:

    “COVID-19 Community Impact

    Last updated 6/29/2020 5:40 pm

    Confirmed 112

    Hospitalized 11

    21 Total Hospitalized (Current & Released)

    Currently in Isolation 18

    Deaths 4

    Total Tests 12,006

    https://www.co.shasta.ca.us/covid-19/data

    Still only ~30% compliance with mask regulations this PM at Churn Creek Safeway.

    • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

      Yikes. About 60% compliance at Winco today. That’s about double what I saw a couple of weeks ago.

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        I just got back from Pine St Safeway a few minutes ago. About 90% compliant. Pretty good.

        • Avatar Randy says:

          The determined ignorance of ‘conservatives’ and their unwillingness to accept the scientific realities of AGW and Covid-19 make their ideology a growing threat to our planet and their collective ignorance can be directly tied to the right wing misinformation machine of religious conservatism.

          Psycology, Health and Medicine

          “The coronavirus pandemic is one of the biggest health crises of our time. In response to this global problem, various institutions around the world had soon issued evidence-based prevention guidelines. However, these guidelines, which were designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 and contribute to public well-being, are (deliberately) disregarded by some individuals. In the present study, we aimed to develop and test a multivariate model that could help us identify individual characteristics that make a person more/less likely to comply with COVID-19 prevention guidelines. A total of 525 attentive participants completed the online survey. The results of structural equation modeling (SEM) show that COVID-19 risk perception and trust in science both independently predict compliance with COVID-19 prevention guidelines, while the remaining variables in the model (political conservatism, religious orthodoxy, conspiracy ideation and intellectual curiosity) do so via the mediating role of trust in science. The described model exhibited an acceptable fit (?2(1611) = 2485.84, p < .001, CFI = .91, RMSEA = .032, SRMR = .055). These findings thus provide empirical support for the proposed multivariate model and underline the importance of trust in science in explaining the different levels of compliance with COVID-19 prevention guidelines."

          https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13548506.2020.1772988

  33. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    “Still Only ~30% compliance…”

    Thanks for putting up the current numbers, Ed.

    Roughly, we have doubled at the 2 week rate. If the doubling pace of infection remains stable, Shasta is looking at +/- 450 cases by end of July, which – again – roughly mirrors the current CALCAT modeling for Shasta. Testing numbers remain behind like everywhere else, and funding is lean.

    Those with influence should really be peddling it.
    Mask up…

  34. Avatar Joanne Snyder says:

    Thank you for this article Matt. I’m fortunate that I’m retired and don’t have to work with a lot of people, or have to sit down to infected keyboards on a daily basis like you do. I’m fortunate that I like making masks, and like that wearing a mask reminds others to stay away from me when I go to the store or the downtown post office (where most of the customers were not wear masks today.) I’m just so selfish, but if I can keep myself, my family and my friends safer than I’ve done the best I can. Redding, and other places in our country are seeing the results of a disregard for this disease. Again, thank you Matt.

  35. Avatar Richard DuPertuis says:

    Thanks, Matt. Sounds like you’re doing everything you can to prevent further spread. I, too, dread the idea of discovering myself as Patient Zero, as I live in an indoor senior community with some neighbors old enough to be my parents. Few wear masks at home. I wear a mask whenever out of my apartment.

    As a bus rider, I’m can report with concern some relaxing of precautions on RABA coaches. As recently as last week, riders were restricted to rear door entry only, one supposes to keep the driver a safe distance from the public. With no public access to the money box, all rides were free.

    But this past week front door entry is allowed and for the first time in weeks they are using the folding ramp to ease the entry of heavy loads into the bus. Rides are still free, ridership is up a little, but people don’t seem as health conscious as they used to be. Last month, half the passengers wore masks; now just one here, one there.

    BTW, I read recently that states where case numbers are surging are attributing the increases to Memorial Day activities a month ago. I recall we had some gatherings in Shasta County as well. With our count now climbing, I guess we could dodge the bullet for only so long.

  36. Avatar Sandy says:

    I live in Southeastern Michigan where compliance is, thankfully, quite good. We were hit hard early and it humbled us. Effective treatments that are helping keep the numbers of deaths lower now were learned and passed on by those who had to deal with initial horrors. I also work in healthcare (though I do not do patient care) so I shake my head in wonder and amazement at the stupidity of conspiracy theorists and anti maskers who think I should believe them over my coworkers who are at the front of the battlelines and whom I know and trust. Masks have been a simple infection prevention tool for over a century now, used everyday and all day in the healthcare industry. It’s sad so many see it as a way to make a sttatement of their own individuality and rights instead of as a simple medical device. Sigh. Such silliness. Anyway I’m grateful to work at a hospital where preventative measures are enforced by deputized security guards, and my hearts go out to you who have to face the general public right now. Your line

    “I have to assume all the horror stories are true because if they’re right, we’re in trouble. If they’re wrong, I’ve lost nothing but the respect of people who don’t believe any of it. I can live with that.”

    …is awesome! I may put it on a mask! 🙂

  37. Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

    Rumor has it that the Shasta Superior Court court clerks are operating on a skeleton crew on the civil side after one of the clerks tested positive for the virus, and the other clerks have been quarantined.

    Also, at least one visiting judge does not wear a mask in the courtroom.

  38. Avatar Ethan Tara says:

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  39. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    Last Tuesday’s meeting, Shasta County Board of Supervisors fields mandated mask complaints:

    https://krcrtv.com/news/coronavirus/complaints-about-mask-order-at-shasta-county-supervisors-meeting

    This time, the bullhorn gal brought along a scripted delegate of Shasta intellectuals to support the notion that “masks threaten Shasta County” and “The virus is on our side”, along with the contention that we can no longer permit Newsom to bully Shasta County.

    I have been one question for the bullhorn gal:

    Who left the door to the loony bin open?

    • Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

      Loony bin, indeed. This just in:

      “Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!”

      — Herman Cain, tweeting about the Mt. Rushmore celebration, hours before going into the hospital with COVID-19

      • Avatar Ed Marek says:

        Those wanting a good quick look at the national pandemic in the weeks (months?, years?) ahead might want to keep an eye on the matrix Brad DeLong posts near the top of his blog:

        https://delong.typepad.com/sdj/

        With three week trailing R now estimated to be 1.35, America will surely pass the ~1.8 million inferred-infections-per-week record we set in late march, quite soon.

        Just remember as you watch, that the 1% constant death rate used is nearly certainly incorrect, as the infected cohort has trended younger and healthier over time, and medical treatments have improved, so this percentage is almost surely dropping significantly over time.

        But since we don’t know the actual percentages, past or present, DeLong’s use of 1% for this purpose is certainly within reason.

  40. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    I walked thru Wally World in Anderson today wearing my facetious “Les Baugh for President” COVID mask and a prototype of one of my Velostat anti-mind reading, anti-brain leakage functionally stylish hats. No one even noticed the crazy hat, but just about everyone went Ga-Ga over the Les Baugh political statement. Thumbs up in every aisle, smiles in abundance, and multiple requests to reproduce them in quantity. What kind of people are these?

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