Lonely ranger

David Swan
2 min readFeb 14, 2024

February 14, 2024

In a crowded Waffle House I’m one of two. At the doctor’s office, I might be one of several but the only patient. At the burger place, the library, the car dealer, the barbershop, and almost everywhere else, I’m the only person in sight who’s still going around with one of these on his face.

Cloth mask.

I’m starting to feel like the Lone Ranger. If you don’t remember him, he was a fictional hero of the Old West whose TV show ended with somebody asking, “Who was that masked man?”

We all recall when the question was, “Who’s that idiot without a mask?” Today we’re in much better shape. The winter surge is receding here in Georgia and elsewhere. Yet four years into the age of Covid, people are still dying and thousands of them are seniors like me.

It’s depressing to realize that we didn’t learn from the carnage that hit the elder population a few years ago. It’s infuriating to think a lot of young people don’t care. What else explains the fact that less than 20% of the nation has received the latest (bivalent) booster? Or that a cheap, effective lifesaving tool has disappeared like the autumn leaves?

I don’t look forward to wearing these things forever. At the moment I just don’t feel like I have a choice, even though I’m fully vaxxed and seem to have inherited a strong constitution. I’ve heard about folks who are decades younger than I am, successfully dodged the virus since 2020, and recently got sick.

What I fear most is long Covid, which might not kill me but could make life almost unbearable. I could not live with myself if it destroyed someone who I carelessly infected. Make your own decision about masking but please think of the people around you, especially those who are older and vulnerable. Take care and be safe.

The Lone Ranger and his horse Silver.
This isn’t me. Photo by Wikipedia.

Originally published at http://daveswanauthor.wordpress.com on February 14, 2024.

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David Swan

Writer, editor, ex-journalist, all-around communicator. Comfortable in real and fictional worlds. Always on the lookout for a great story.