Dawn Hankins

Pencil Shavings

Dawn Hankins is a staff writer for the Times-Gazette.


Are we dreaming COVID?

Saturday, August 22, 2020

I was thinking the other day, wouldnít it be lovely, if I were to wake up from sleep and realize I had dreamed the whole COVID thing. You know how elated you are many times to discover certain events didnít happen, which were present in your dreams?

Perhaps Iíve been in a coma? I wake up and find that schools are running ahead of the game in test scores and athletics.

Maybe I bumped my noggin? I wake up and discover that my young grandchildren arenít having to wear masks to school.

I think of the way businesses have suffered. Was it all a dream? Did my favorite restaurant get a James Beard award this year?

Is it true that school children really are in harms way when it comes to sharing pencils or their favorite books? Teachers are at home- many who are now wishing theyíd chosen a different profession? Virtual learning has been forced onto unprepared teachers and parents?

Could I really be dreaming that cans of Lysol and disinfectant wipes are scarce? Nope, itís true.

While some of our meanderings, especially on social media, might be fake, is all the COVID-19 hoopla a political ruse?

Sadly, Iíve pinched myself several times at those thoughts. Ouch! Nope, Iím not dreaming.

Then I further realized, I donít have these kind of exciting dreams. So, the continual spread of the coronavirus is a reality.

This tells me that Iím going to have to keep wearing my mask, something Iíve done in public since early March. As an essential worker, Iím so very tired of this.

Yet, current statistics reveal that nearly 800,000 people across the globe have died from the virus. I now have a mask clipped onto a lanyard around my neck. (Those days of being a childrenís leader, when we wore these, made this a little less awkward.)

Nurses will tell you itís certainly real. I have family and friends on the front lines; they share some sad stories.

So, in the real world, people have a choice to wear or not wear a mask. Personally, since Iíve been an essential worker, Iíve worn a face covering in public since March. Iíve worn a mask when near my family, not only protect myself, but out of concern for others. I donít want to unknowingly spread this horrible illness, which can show up in a snap.

My thinking is, what can it hurt to wear face coverings for a little while? If we all pitch in together and do this, we can whip this thing really fast. But as long as people refuse, use such a time of crisis to support some personal agenda, I believe SARS-COVID is going to be with us for a while.

Sadly, I see people in leadership roles, refusing to wear a mask. To me, thatís a selfish frame of thinking.

Great poets have theorized the reason why people exude certain behaviors, particularly in the depth of a crisis. I tend to think about why people want to continue to spread this horrible coronavirus, when they can try to stop it. Letís be done with it!

Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw said it best: You see things; and you say ĎWhy?í But I dream things that never were; and I say, Ďwhy not?í

Letís be real. Stop dreaming. Wake up! COVID-19, into almost 6 months, isnít going away within our current health practices.