Hoffman’s column is ‘as good as it gets’
There are many reasons I subscribe to The Fincastle Herald. It keeps my wife and I connected to the goings-on in Botetourt County such as the latest on the agenda for the Board of Supervisors, the happenings with other organizations who are supporting local needs, and the ever present arrest records. Plus, it was the August 17, 2016, edition of The Fincastle Herald that ran as its headline story “Botetourt County native won Olympic gold” that sent me on a journey of a lifetime. That journey resulted in the book I wrote, NORVEL: An American Hero.
But, to be honest, I wait in anticipation for Brian Hoffman’s weekly column that could be called “Sports in the time of COVID.” His most recent one, “Ready or not,” ought to go viral. My wife and I had difficulty completing our sentences when we attempted to describe to each other our hilarious reaction to it. It’s as good as it gets in terms of describing the current state of sports during these times, but perhaps more sublimely it’s a profound commentary on today’s culture. Thank you, Fincastle Herald, for including his work on your pages.
Reasons why to like your facemask
In regard to the December 2 article about how Herald readers felt about wearing their masks, I would like to share my positive experience with mask-wearing. I wear a three-layer cloth mask all day, every day. I do not feel it limits my breathing. In fact, I have become so used to wearing it that I often forget to take it off when I drive home.
I work with high school students full-time outside of Botetourt County. Some of my students have had to be sent home with Covid symptoms. All of these teenagers were laid low for weeks of misery. They wore masks at school and kept a distance, as did I. They were sick, I was not.
This is all the evidence I need to continue to wear my mask snuggly and follow other protective measures encouraged by our Health Department. I hope that all those folks who are having a tough time with mask-wearing will persist and find masks which fit them better. To inspire you I include:
My Top Ten Reasons I Like My Mask
1. My mask keeps you safer. This isn’t just a bit of science here or there, it’s a lot of science from everywhere. You are safer in a face covering from all airborne germs: colds, flu, and Covid. Plus, fewer sick people means I am less likely to get sick.
2. My mask keeps Mr. Right safer. Don’t mess with my man! I found Mr. Right and I intend to keep him alive and well. Please remember that with Covid your loved ones are only as healthy as you are. Within a household the risk of spreading Covid is about 54 percent (Vanderbilt University study) to 80 percent (a Chinese study). Love your love by limiting the danger you bring in from outside home: wear a mask, wash your hands often, and keep a distance from others anywhere outside your own home.
3. My mask keeps me safer. I do a lot to stay healthy, such as eating five fruits and vegetables each day, taking a brisk walk most days, and drinking plenty of water. Covid can still kill me and put my investment in healthy living in an obituary.
4. My mask saves me time. I have an extra 10 minutes a day by not putting make-up on and not having to take it off. It is “eyes only” now. Gentlemen, we won’t see your unsightly stubble if your mask is on, so you can save time by not shaving, too.
5. My mask helps me avoid heavy road traffic. I avoid heavier traffic on the road by leaving earlier each morning. See No. 4 above.
6. My mask keeps my nose warm. With a warmer face, I can turn my heat down, and that saves me money. Yes, that’s right. I like my warm nose enough to wear my mask at home when it gets chilly. You may like giving your money to APCo, but I prefer having a little extra to donate to worthy Botetourt causes.
7. My mask adds humidity to the air I breathe. Winter brings dry air with the nose-itching, throat-scratching discomfort it causes. The moisture from my breath inside my mask lessens the discomfort.
8. My mask dulls my sense of smell. I dread second-hand cologne and lots of scented products make my nose twitch, my throat fill with mucus, and my eyes water. With my mask on I get the perfumed pleasure without the physical assault.
9. My mask helps my pollen and dust allergies. I cannot remember when I have had fewer allergic reactions.
10. My mask reminds me to smile with my eyes and my voice. A smile is more than drawing our lips back to show our teeth. A real smile shows in our eyes, our voices, and our posture. With a mask on, I have to dig a little deeper into all the things for which I am grateful. That puts joy upon my face. My mask has caused me to weigh how much I care about teaching vs. how much I care about my health, how much I struggle with challenges vs. how much I enjoy life. Teaching has won. Life has won. I hope your life will win, too.