We’ve been forced to shelter-in-place at home and have our physical office closed over many weeks now, and it’s become difficult to keep up with the ever-changing information being updated and thrown at us from all directions. Some days it makes my head spin. There are moments when the rest of the world can actually fade away, and I forget all my worries and cares - and there are moments when I focus on my family or the work in front of me without the chatter and chaos of the rest of the world.
Wearing a face mask when I do venture into a public space where social distancing is not possible snaps me back into the new reality of the outside world. I remember the first time I went to the grocery store after the face-mask rule went into place, and thought, “Are people really going to do this? I feel so silly!” Even while writing this, it’s like telling someone about a weird dream… “and then, I walked into the store, and everyone was wearing different color masks and grocery shopping like this was normal, and there were signs telling me what direction I could walk in and I couldn’t find toilet paper anywhere”…but since there were no clowns, I wasn’t naked, and everyone didn’t start chasing me, I knew this was no bad dream, it was real as ever.
It can be so frustrating to have to follow all of these new rules. There are days I think, “to heck with it!” and “I’m not wearing a face mask!” or - my favorite fantasy - “I’m just going to have my friends over and enjoy myself!” After indulging for a few moments in those sentiments, I remember what I know about rules.
I’m a “rules girl.” Always have been. I like rules. They define things, they help maintain a level playing field, they apply to everyone, and most importantly, they keep people safe…when we all follow them. When I think about the important role that rules play in our world, I can’t help but think about the work I do daily as an attorney. Simply put, I’m here to help people when they are hurt because someone did not “follow the rules.” In my experience, most people don’t wake up in the morning and think about going out into the world to hurt people, but if we are out in the world not “following the rules,” an unintended consequence is that sometimes people can get hurt.
I’ve seen the pain in my clients that is a direct result of someone else not abiding by the rules. That pain has a ripple effect. And to use the phrase that’s almost become cliche these days “now, more than ever”, I believe that we need to do our part and follow the rules to create a different kind of ripple effect. A positive one that keeps everyone healthy.
So, no matter how tempted I am to go mask-free, I will keep wearing it (even if some days it's begrudgingly). I will “have fun with it” too, because if I can’t wear my smile (but rest assured, I am still smiling under there), then I might as well wear something savvy! Maybe you have a loved one who has made you a mask, (credit to my mother-in-law for the mask in the pic), pick one up at a local retailer, or maybe it's inspired you to start sewing! I want to be part of a positive ripple effect - and hope you will join me in doing so.
Lindsey M. Goldstein, Esq.
Goldstein & Goldstein, LLP
Attorneys and Counselors at Law