|Angel, Mt. View Cemetery, Walla Walla, WA. Photo by K. McConnell|
Scholars studying the Koran and the Bible concur from their respective doctrines that the speed of angels is calculated as being faster than the speed of light. I walked a local cemetery for an outing a couple of weeks ago during the coronavirus lockdown and I was thinking about speed. I had just read that coughs travel at fifty-miles per hour and sneezes at two hundred-miles per hour. The fastest human in the world can run only in the upper twenty-mile per hour range. If humans had to outdistance a cough or sneeze carrying the coronavirus Covid-19, any one of us would lose that race and risk becoming an angel.
My mother died in the polio epidemic in the early 1950s, so I am hyper aware of how a single death can slow roll consequences across an entire life. As the numbers of coronavirus Covid-19 deaths are ticking ever upwards, I find the controversy about whether to wear masks or not to contain the spread of the disease confusing and sad.
People who brag about the speed of race cars, of baseball pitches, and of bullets seem suddenly oblivious to the speed of a virus traveling through air in coughs and in sneezes. They brag as if one exists and the other does not. They label one of the prime methods of transmission of Covid-19 to be a hoax or a rumor. They claim that wearing a mask is a sign of not being macho enough or of being a member of the wrong political party. They seem to forget that the issue is a scientific fact about speed.
Ordinarily most of us don’t wish to become an angel before our time – travel from this world to the next with a pace surely counted in micro-seconds. So, none of us should be so incautious as to be responsible for causing someone else’s death with our neglect. The issue is so simple. Get yourself up to speed; wear a mask.