It now develops that wearing a mask to safeguard against the coronavirus is not enough. Dr. Anthony Fauci said that wearing goggles or eye shields would also help.
“Theoretically,” Fauci told ABC News in an interview, “you should protect all the mucosal surfaces, so if you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it.”
Mucosal surfaces are the nose, mouth and eyes. Fauci is not lobbying to mandate such a thing. He is merely pointing out that an airborne virus can enter the body through any of the mucosal openings.
I’ll give it a shot. I have a variety of goggles left over from the days when I routinely used a bench grinder to polish motorcycle bits or grind something down that didn’t fit. I also have a respirator mask from the days of frequent varnishing. I am used to all of these accoutrements, I just never thought I would take the whole costume out into the public looking like a large unearthly insect.
It will not come to pass, of course. We are a country divided about even wearing a simple mask. Every day there seems to be a viral video of a non-masker screaming obscenities at a masker or a masker screaming obscenities at a non-masker.
We have gone completely mad, you know. It could be the Samer Theory. I was made aware of the Samer Theory several years ago when a fellow told me his friend, Samer, then in the military in some capacity as an electrical equipment expert, warned people that we were all going bananas because of all the radiation in the air. Cellphones in particular, Samer theorized, were causing people to suffer incremental brain damage.
Makes sense to me. Something has to explain an almost universal meltdown over a virus invading our shores, which viruses have done throughout our history. Why is this one different? The Samer Theory would suggest that this virus is different because it arrived at a time when all our electric devices have been in use long enough now to have made us goofy and unpredictable.
I’ll give you a personal example which I am hesitant to admit, but will do so as possible corroboration of Samer’s concern.
The other day, I masked up and went to the hardware store to get a tube of construction-grade glue and a caulking gun. Years ago, in the goggle and bench-grinder days, I did dozens and dozens of caulking jobs, mostly on the old boats I used to work on. When I got home, I glanced at the instructions and noted that I was to puncture the inner seal. Of course. I could do this with my eyes closed.
Inexplicably, I punched a hole in the top of the tube, but not through the spout! I had even cut the tip of the spout as I had done a million times! I thought it odd, but presumed I was to provide the tube some relief from air pressure. I put that baby in the caulking gun and off I went to my project, which was to glue down the end of a railing cap that had started to lift.
You know perfectly well what happened. When I pulled the trigger, the glue just burped through the hole I had punched in the tube, but not through the spout! It was one fine mess and made me realize instantly that I had taken leave of my senses. I have a pretty good knack around the garage, but that dropped me from a 10 on the knack scale to zero. It was tantamount to filling the back seat with gas, ignoring the fuel door.
I do not wonder lightly if such a complete lack of sense is a COVID symptom. More likely, it was an example of the Samer Theory. I would submit that maskers and non-maskers yelling at each other in stores is a momentary lapse of reason no different than my failure to properly prepare a tube of glue.
What the hell is happening to us?
Joe Soucheray can be reached at email@example.com. Soucheray’s “Garage Logic” podcast can be heard at garagelogic.com.