Rico’s Digest – “I Didn’t think it would happen to me” is a phrase I have not yet heard and hope never to hear from of any of my family or friends, especially the few who are taking the pandemic in stride, even one who has on more than one occasion declared “it’s all a lie, all made up.”
“Look, I am out and about, I don’t wear a mask, nothing has happened to me,” words I have heard from him before.
Things between us came to a head-on confrontation, when, for whatever reason he decided, in a public place, to show off his bravado, a side of him I had not seen before, in the almost decade of knowing him.
On this day, he decided, in front of others, to ‘sacar pecho’, a Spanish term I translate to, “look at what an idiot I am”, forgo social distancing, and mock my personal choices. The mistake was mine, I should have driven straight home from the supermarket instead.
His choice is his and thought I don’t agree with, I respect it. All I ask is for the same respect in kind.
My choice to take the situation seriously, that includes wearing a mask when leaving my house, gel in pocket, and in the have wipes, spray and gloves for any occasion in the car, is mine, a personal one, one that I don’t give a flying monkey if others agree to it or not.
That choice is also taking an attitude of suspicion of others, yes, I am protecting you from me, but, better I protect myself from you. The same thing, but not the same.
On this visit, as I had done before, meeting at a shop of a mutual friend, it didn’t go so well. Being both Italian, our heated conversations are often mistaken by others around us (other than other Italians) as arguments.
Raised voices, hands flying are not arguing in our culture, they are merely expressive conversation. Arguments are another level. And this was not the time, nor the place, or the reason for an argument.
On this visit, I was accompanied by my wife, who is also taking the pandemic with seriousness. I would even say more than I.
Once heads cooled we discussed the situation via messaging.
I reminded him that I am in the risk group, he is not. I have family at a distance, he does not. My wife has family and though not such a distance, but in a country where the dictatorship shares ‘his’ similar views, and he does not.
In fact, one of the reasons for my semi-blow up was just that, “look what’s happening in Nicaragua,” he tells my wife. Insensitive ignoramus.
Although he agreed with my points, even agreeing to my suggestion that we talk to our mutual friend who just returned this very morning, from Brazil.
Once again I repeated my message, my reasons for wearing a mask, my social distancing and other precautions I am taking, my being “precavido” (cautious).
I fear the message will not get through. But I have hope, hope that I will not have to hear from him the words “I didn’t think it would happen to me”.
Wear a freaking mask.
Thanks for listening.
Stay at home, stay safe, stay healthy.