I’ve spent my life as a small time retailer and manufacturer.

I’ve spent my life encouraging people to come into my store and shop.

Today I have a sign on the door that states “call us, put on your mask and we’ll let you in to pick up your gift.”

Last week a person came in and coughed their way around our store just looking around.

We’ve always considered our store a safe haven of prudent and responsible behavior.

I’ve always wanted people to come into my store and because of this incident I ponder putting up a sign that seems so, so restrictive …it states “no recreational shopping”.

No, I’m not dying for your business.

As Paul Simon sings “I don’t want to end up as a cartoon, in a cartoon grave yard”, Bone digger, bone digger, get those mutts away from me, I don’t find this stuff amusing anymore….etc.

I have lived long enough to know that I’m in that target age group and I have been saddened by three deaths in my group of friends.

My group of friends might be larger than some because we spent 3 or 4 months on the road with artists and artisans exhibiting at art fairs throughout the nation.

Today a couple knocked at our door and I let them in, they were properly masked up and they needed to exchange a belt for the right length and a wallet for a women’s clutch.

I have survived in a small town in the midwest known for its conservative values and friendliness.
I’ve always thought we are the essence of “Lake Wobegone” of Garrison Keillor fame.

The customers that I was helping seemed to want to visit and they inquired about state requirements for wearing masks.

I realized they were hospital professionals from NorthWestern Iowa, a small region even more conservative than my small community.

Their conservative population base had tendencies to obey the president and flaunt their mask wearing, yet their population base was elderly.

This certainly was not a good combination for this demographic.

I could see through their masked faces that they were desperate and alarmed at the public’s lack of taking this pandemic seriously.

Their patients were taking their lead from the president, not doctors or epidemiologists, or scientists.

We all stood back at a distance and continued to discuss the state of affairs and how ignorant the public has become.

A large percentage of our population can’t properly determine how to elicit good and meaningful information based on science.

Whole swaths of our society are picking and choosing their own “news” station to fit their own comfortable narrative,

let me say this again in hopes that it causes some self reflection. (please, concentrate)

Whole swaths of our society are picking and choosing their “news” station” to fit their own comfortable narrative rather than hear what is being said, no matter how uncomfortable.

These health care professionals are currently doing a job that they hadn’t thought would be this grueling, demanding and this dangerous.

They are now dealing with an infectious population of non-compliant people.

A president making a mockery of world class doctors that have helped in saving millions of people.

I smile though my mask and wish my patrons and health care professionals the very best.

We still care and desperately want your patronage… in a responsible fashion, a fashion that allows everyone a healthier existence.

For there is still hope and compassion in this world and it is the small an incremental caring that is done by people of good will.

I tip my hat to those people.   billkeitel

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