It’s been a year. A year ago, I was standing in the bitter Kansas City cold at Union Station trying to catch a glimpse of Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill or Patrick Mahomes. When I got home, I remember hearing about how this new virus is starting to take hold in big cities across the country.
What a year this has been. Working from home has become the norm. Concerts canceled. Baseball and football with limited fans. Grocery store runs are done only when necessary.
There’s a lot to unpack on how America has handled this past year. Just like the same Monday morning quarterbacking that is happening around the Chiefs. One voice, however, has seemed to calm us and provide a true north for us to follow. Dr. Anthony Fauci has been that voice. Even when others shouted, Dr. Fauci’s calm demeanor reminded us to stick to what science tells us about this virus. Clearly not a politician, Fauci sometimes stumbled into traps laid by interviewers. In one early interview, he mentioned that masks might not work but that the science hasn’t told us one way or the other. That one statement, sadly, launched a cornerstone of the anti-masker movement. Fauci did say later that masks should be worn to protect the wearer and those around them.
I’m not sure Dr. Fauci asked to be “the” guy on this. How would anybody? Not everyone can say every word perfectly every time, and, when science hasn’t yet determined the “right” way to resolve a problem, he is required to say he doesn’t know. I get it. Unfortunately, he was pushed to the front of the pile when other voices either wouldn’t step up, or were spouting nonsense.
So here we are, a year later. Over 400,000 have died of this virus and Dr. Fauci is starting to indicate TWO masks should be worn in public. Let me publicly say that I would wear my underpants on my head and step into traffic if Dr. Fauci said so. I will wear two masks in public if that’s what is best to stop this disease. But if I have any ability to provide constructive critiques to the foremost voice on COVID-19 it would be this–maybe not so much with the two masks. We can’t get Americans to wear one damn mask. I’m not sure this late into the game you’re going to get many to wear two. Let’s focus on getting the vaccine out to everyone. Right now we have stadiums sitting empty that are ready to do mass vaccination events. We have people, like me, who have registered for the vaccine but no realistic timeline on when to expect it. We have a president that, thankfully, is providing resources to getting this done, but we know how slow the government runs and don’t have a lot of confidence in it.
I know there are a few more things that we can do to help prevent infection. But America is about at its breaking point and a double-mask isn’t a message we are going to take. Get us our Fauci Ouchies. Put the vaccine in our arms.
The speed with which the vaccine has been created is miraculous. Science will be credited with saving millions, even when the virus has taken its toll. Now might be a good time to begin to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. I know you probably didn’t ask for this PR role. I know that adding a little bit of nuance and spice might not be truly scientific. But let’s massage the message a little here and use that influence to move this vaccination campaign as fast as possible.
You didn’t ask to be the lightning rod – and yet you’ve performed as well as anyone could’ve expected. Now, I’d like you to do the even more impossible and make sure I can start preparing to attend the 2022 Super Bowl parade. In the meantime, I’ll wear as many masks as you need me to.
(Massage the message with Chris Kamler on Twitter where he is known as @TheFakeNed)