Face masks, or calling a bluff

Bandana face mask_smallCognitive dissonance provides a good reason for not wearing a face mask against Covid-19. If you want to believe you won’t get ill, then you will feel very uncomfortable doing something that reminds you that you might be vulnerable. A mask-less neighbor told my husband: “I never catch colds or anything.”

It must be nice to be invulnerable. Or unafraid. Every morning, I wake up and think: “Fuck. There’s still a pandemic.” I know I could get sick, and I’m afraid of that.

When I see people protesting the quarantine, it reminds me of a poker bluff: an attempt to intimidate your opponent. But who is the opponent? The protesters seem to think it’s the governor of their state. I think it’s a virus.

My father, who played a mean game of poker, taught me not to rely on bluffing. Instead, he shared better card-game techniques. One, very effective, involves keeping a mental tally by counting the cards that are face-up or that have been played. In certain poker variations, this helps make smarter decisions. In other games, like sheepshead (I grew up in Wisconsin) or blackjack, it helps so much that some casinos throw out card-counters.

We still know too little about the exact deck for Covid-19 and only some of the rules of the game. Slowly, we’re seeing more cards to help us guide our bets and figure out how to play. Meanwhile, I’m losing income, I’m depressed about being cooped up, I’m scared, and I hate this game. But I don’t see any winning strategy besides counting cards and playing the awful hand we’ve been dealt as effectively as we can. Only when we’ve learned enough will we be able to leave the corona casino.

2 thoughts on “Face masks, or calling a bluff

  1. Hello Sue. I love your books which I read from the library. So much I now own them. I live in Milwaukee. Where did you grow upm


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