Woolly Bear

When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself. ~Louis Nizer, Jewish-American trial lawyer

Despite my love for debate, I don’t enjoy confrontations.

You know, the kind where you have to read somebody the riot act to get them to stop scraping their shoes all over your feelings.

Take the other day, for instance.

I’ve been extra-cautious during this pandemic in an effort to keep myself — and my elderly mother — safe and healthy.

Except for trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, post office, bank, and so forth, I’ve stayed home. And when I do have to go to one of those places, I don a mask, wash my hands afterwards, sanitize my car, jump in the shower to wash myself head to toe, and throw everything in the laundry.

Immediately.

Now when the Illinois Governor announced he was letting hair salons reopen (with certain restrictions in place), I eagerly made an appointment.

Tired of looking like a woolly mammoth, I was happy to report to my son the Domer about my upcoming opportunity to return to Debbie-ness.

Until he warned me that, if his grandma caught the coronavirus, it was going to be my fault!

“She hasn’t gone anywhere,” Domer said. “You don’t want to bring it home to her.”

Gulp.

‘Of course not, but you got your hair cut,’ I told him.

‘And I’m not infecting anybody either,’ he said.

Ouch.

You mean I’m being selfish and irresponsible to want to look decent again, after months of more-or-less isolation?

Hmm.

And that would have been the end, except my sis gave me an almost identical warning!

This, after she’s been gleefully going to church, hair and nail salon, shopping mall, you-name-it for weeks now (the governor of her state wasn’t racing, like Illinois was, to be the last to reopen!)

Give her credit for apologizing when I told her how hurt I was that I was going to get the blame for something beyond my control. And besides, most of these outside treks were at Mom’s insistence.

My dilemma is this: should I go ahead with a haircut and take a chance that my (and Mom’s) immune systems are strong, or should I embrace this hirsute look?

Help me out with a comment, okay?

21 thoughts on “Woolly Bear

  1. “My dilemma is this: should I go ahead with a haircut and take a chance that my (and Mom’s) immune systems are strong, or should I embrace this hirsute look?”

    Yes, Debbie, absolutely. And I don’t mean to be blunt (but I am), what your son and sis said to you (and the way they said it to you) (and especially after they both have had haircuts) was just plan nasty. And family or not, I would have had to say something. But that’s me, I don’t hold my tongue for anyone (family or no family).

    And you might want to remind them that although they might not infect your mother by going out in public and mingling with people, they could have infected other people, if they’re THAT concerned.

    Besides, you can’t stay in forever. I for one have never been afraid of this virus. I’ve been careful (like you), however, my life will not stop because of Covid-19.

    Hope this helps, my friend!

    Hope you’re having a super week! X

    • Ron, I think it’s the Italian in us that makes us say our mind, regardless the fallout! That’s why I read the “riot act” to both Sis and Domer, assuring them that I’m doing my level best to take care of me and Mom, but nobody can prevent ALL sickness. My mom assured me that she’d be fine — go get your hair done, she told me. Eventually Sis said the same thing. Domer is still holding out, but he’s not a female and has NO CLUE how hard it is to look at oneself every single day in the mirror and see a woolly beast staring back!!

      Thank you for your thoughts and concern. It helps to see how many folks agree I should get out — for sure, I’ll feel better afterward! {{{ YOU!! }}}

  2. There’s no right answer. All the numbers are confusing. I don’t have to make these decisions because the Navy has mandated I don’t go anywhere but work, home and the grocery store. I think if you and everyone you’re around wears a mask, you should be fine with minimal errands.

    • Thanks for your comment, Captain! As someone who lives in a house surrounded by females, I know for sure you understand how important it is for us to look good (so we act good and feel good!). It’s really NOT a vanity thing. Yes, I’ll continue being careful, but staying locked up forever isn’t helping anybody’s mood!!

  3. Go get your hair cut, for heavens’ sake. The virus is serious, of course, and precautions need to be taken, but we’ve been increasingly open since May 4, and while I realize the situations are different in every state — compare NY and Wyoming, for example — I personally believe that the warnings in the media have been overblown. For example, only a few days ago the WHO revised its advice about facemask wearing, saying there’s no need for healthy people to wear them. The CDC came out a couple of weeks ago and said there’s no need to disinfect postal packages, mail, grocery bags, and so on. There’s no need to strip and shower when coming home… etc. etc. Most humorously, the cafés in Paris, France have opened again, although people are requested to keep a ‘social distance’ of — are you ready for this? — three feet. Are the germs different in France and in the US? No. The decision-makers are.

    So make your own decision, and go live your life. I’m seventy-three years old, and from the beginning I’ve been working, shopping, and picking up meals from my favorite restaurants. I’ve avoided crowds, but I always tend to avoid crowds. What’s most interesting is that even as masks are slowing disappearing around here, the case numbers are declining.I haven’t been keeping up, but the last report I read showed five deaths from the virus reported on one day. Looking more closely at the number, I found that those five deaths came from a month-long period, and all involved old people with preexisting conditions.

    As Andrew Marvell put it in his poem:
    “The grave’s a fine and private place,
    But none, I think, do there embrace. ”

    Personally, I’m not in favor of living as though I’m in a grave before I die. I’m sick to death of hearing “Stay safe.” I much prefer staying alive.

    • Thank you for your thoughts, Linda. All right, you’ve convinced me — I’ll make an appointment. After all, if the riots and looting don’t come to a speedy end, our governor will issue another lockdown order, and who knows how long it might be before I can get this mess highlighted and cut again?!?

      It looks like the bulk of Illinois’ cases are in the Chicago area. Of course, look how BIG that city is and how densely populated! Down here, the bulk of our county’s cases are from one nursing home (that doesn’t seem to have figured out how or why their residents and staff keep getting sick). I applaud your intent to live until you die — really, what other choice can we make? It’s not like living in a bubble is either productive or enjoyable!

      • I spent some time thinking about this at work this morning: if my mother still were alive, would I get my hair cut at a salon? Then I realized the truth — if Mom still were alive, she’d be the one insisting that I take HER to the salon!

        • Like mother, like daughter! Thank you, Linda. My mom, too, is eager for the cleaning lady to get started once again (she used to be a hair stylist, and Mom can’t wait for her to cut and style her hair!!)

  4. Does your mom live with you?

    Have you discussed what your salon has in place to keep you and them safe?

    If your mom lives with you I’d wait 2 weeks after salons open to see if there’s a spike. If not, I’d make an appointment. If your mom doesn’t live with you, I’d go now, then do all the things you did before when you got home including shower.

    It’s all easy for me to say…I don’t have anyone elderly living here. And I started growing my grey out back in October…so really it’s up to you to weigh out the risks and make your decision.

    Personally I can’t see anything wrong with any decision you make if you do it with consideration and thought, as I know you are.

    • Thank you, Dawn, for your thoughtful comments. Yes, Mom does live with me. Of late, even she’s been encouraging me to make an appointment (probably hard seeing your daughter look like a mess, though I wouldn’t know, only having a son!)

      My fear is that, while my stylist and I are both healthy now, who knows the future? And aren’t most states seeing a brief spike in cases after their lockdowns are lifted? I’m afraid our governor will push the panic button again and order another lockdown, in which case I’ll have to wait even longer to face myself in the mirror!

      Such a conundrum. But you’re right — being considerate is the only way to approach it.

  5. And don’t forget to factor in the fact that (here in Texas, anyhow) anyone who runs a salon has to be licensed and inspected. They’ve been to school, and learned about sanitation procedures long before Covid-19 showed up. To be honest, I’d worry less about general conditions in a salon than I would those at Home Depot or even the grocery stores. The salon owners know how much they have to lose if they don’t meet standards.

    • Good point, Linda!! You’re right — most salons are small businesses, and they’ve suffered long enough through nearly three months of inactivity. The last thing I imagine they want is having to be locked down again (or having to face sanctions from the state licensing board!)

  6. It is a conundrum for sure. If you follow the same procedures you follow when going to the story I think you will be fine. The Producer went to her hairdresser when he opened and I have three elements of risk. She also follows your protocols when she leaves the house. I think your mom should be fine.

  7. Debbie — Go get your hair cut! Taking care of my bedfast quadriplegic papa, I had to be extremely careful about germs. But, by doing what we’re doing now (washing hands after being out, having hand sanitizer handy et all) he made it to 83 (a miracle!) As a caregiver you also need to look after YOU! My hair definitely needs a haircut (last one was in November. Aaack!) So I’ll join you in virtual line for the salon… :)

    • HaHa, thank you, Virginia!! I know you’re right about caregivers taking care of themselves. Odd, that’s one of the last things we do, isn’t it? It’s nice to hear firsthand that it truly is possible to take care of an elderly parent while doing some nice things for ourselves. Thank you so much for helping me in my dilemma!!

  8. Debbie, this is such a difficult situation and so unfair. But I’m going to be completely honest and say that I don’t think the virus is well enough under control yet to make things like hairdressers safe – or at least for us to be sure they are. Of course it woudn’t be your “fault” if your brought the disease home from there any more than it would be if you picked it up in the supermarket. But supermarkets can’t be avoided – hairdressers can. And I say that as someone who is beginning to resemble a greying yeti! It’s a pity your son and sister (whom I know you love and they love you) couldn’t have been a bit more understanding about how you’ve been stuck in while they’ve had relative freedom, and frankly I’d like to give them both a piece of my mind! The decision is yours and they should understand that. Advice is one thing – trying to make you feel guilty is quite another.

    Hopefully we’ll know soon if the opening up causes a new spike or if the disease continues to recede – it would be nice to get back to some kind of normality soon. I hope I haven’t caused any unintentional hurt with my comments, and if I have I apologise.

    • A “graying yeti”?! Bless your heart, FF! Thank you for your loving thoughts. You’re right in saying that those who don’t have to live in my shoes really shouldn’t be trying to make me feel guilty over leaving the house (especially when they can!). They might not infect Mom, but there very well could be an older, vulnerable person out there getting groceries or whatever that they might infect. I’ve already had words with Sis and Domer over this — sure, its’ a challenging time, but there’s no sense in making it more difficult for each other!

      Don’t feel you need to apologize, okay? I asked for everybody’s honest thoughts on this dilemma, and that’s what I braced myself for! It’s a touchy subject, and the answers depend heavily on everyone’s individual circumstances. Salons theoretically should be well-versed in hygiene, considering that they have state licensing board regulations to follow, but nobody knows how many people they’ve come in contact with — and the same goes for whoever’s been in that chair before you.

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