We’re all catching up

We’re all tired. We’re wearing down, worn out from the stress of a public-health emergency, from the stress of fighting battles on every front for almost four years. But I saw the slightest shift today when I went out for one of my rare grocery-store visits.

Every day, the governor repeats the same song and dance. We’re New York tough. We’re smart. We’re strong. We’re loving. If we reopen the state too soon, he can promise those dropping virus infection numbers will spike up. He’ll say it again tomorrow.

I get it. He’s not repeating himself because he has nothing else to say. He’s repeating himself over and over to try to reach the thousands of people in the state who just don’t want to believe it. He’s reinforcing it through repetition. It’s an old communications technique that every good teacher knows.


Two weeks ago, not only were there people in our local Hannaford’s without masks, but there were employees who weren’t wearing them, either. The mandate was in place, but these were people who just didn’t want to do it. So they didn’t.

Today was different. Even though there are few cases of Covid in the rural Catskills, the people I saw were taking it very seriously, at long last. Everyone had a mask. People tried, mostly, to follow the one-way aisle directions to keep some space between each other. And every employee had a mask on, except one guy in, of course, the meat department. Seriously. But at least he wasn’t interacting with customers, which was what was happening the last time I was there.

Cuomo sounds hoarse from the effort of reinforcing the daily lesson. I bet he’s tired, too. And no doubt he’s sick to death of having to repeat himself.

But it seems that, at least in one stubborn, recalcitrant part of New York, it’s starting to make a difference. I suspect they are all catching on, like kids do, that if they want restrictions lifted, they’re going to have to pay attention to the rules.


Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.

There are 6 comments

  1. Jimmy Kilpatrick

    Someone should remind the good governor that the rest of the nation isn’t bailing New York out. This is nothing more then trying to hurt Trump and for the Governor to gain a few moments of fame. He never will realize that any fame he has is from the rich liberals in NY and a few in California.

  2. Guess Who

    The government and the elite are taking advantage of the opportunity to impose these restrictions on us whether we are compliant or not. Think about it. If were compliant, our loss of freedoms is blamed on the virus. If were non compliant our loss of freedoms are blamed on non-compliancy. The virus is an excuse for the government, tech corporations, and big pharma to control and profit off of the population. Anyone who still believes the state (and ots associates) have the general publics safety and best interest at heart is fooling themselves.

    1. Guess Who

      Thank you for exemplifying another affect of the virus that the government and its constituents (like mainstream media, 90% of which is owned by 6 major corporations) are taking advantage of, which is an overabundance of fear to divide the people. I never resorted to namecalling to express my opinion that the government and the elite do not have the peoples best inerest in mind. I dont believe anyone is a fool, I believe some people are fooling themselves. Im following the executive orders, and I encourage others to do so also. However, I also think its inevitable that the number of cases will continue to rise until everybody has antibodies, or a vaccine becomes available.

  3. Betty

    It’s appalling to me how ignorant people are. Adam’s market seems to be packed, as usual, at least from the outside because I’m sure not going in! Saugerties numbers are rising, are these people fools for walking around without masks? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? Are you really this ignorant, uneducated, careless? This virus is DANGEROUS and it’s now atracking children, YOU ARE NOT IMMUNE. GROW UP.

  4. Lea Cullen Boyer

    We are creating a new social norm. It’s normal for people to get stuck in the old ways. It’s natural for people to be really angry about having to change how they do what they do. I’m finding that folks objecting to masks are in equal numbers on both sides of the political aisle. For every “My Rights” protester there is a Daytripping urban/suburbanite “My family’s right to hike the rail trail is more important than someone I’ll never meet’s life”.

    We are changing rather swifty and should get huge kudos for our efforts. The slowing of this disease is testament to the efficacy of the sacrifices and changes we’ve made.

    The Catskills have way more COVID than being reported. Lack of testing kits, concern that reporting will slow the economy here and transfers of paiteints to other counties for treatment contribute to a false sense of security.

    It’s really hard to understand that there is no “Safe Place” (If there was, I would be the frist to trek my family there.) The illusion that we might go back to “Normal” is the most dangerous denial among us.

    The beauty of what is happening is that we are being forced to reach for our freinds and families, step away from the “Rat Race” (Think Skinner Box). We have a chance to do the Climate Action we always believed in and were unable to figure out how to achieve.

    Ancient Chinese Curse “My you live in interesting times. I find this time frightening, sad, and fascinating.

  5. Guess Who

    Thank you for exemplifying another affect from the virus that the government and its constituents are using to their advantage, which is instilling an overabundance of fear in order to divide the people. I never resorted to name calling in my comment. I said people are fooling themselves, I never called anyone fools. In addition, I never claimed that the virus isnt dangerous. Nor did I ever discourage people from wearing masks in order to protect the vulnerable. I simply stated my opinion that the government and the elite do not have the peoples best interest in mind, whether we are compliant or not. As far as the number of cases go, of course they are continuing to rise. Thats what will continue to happen until everyone has antibodies, or a vaccine becomes available. Unfortunately, it is a lose lose situation right now.

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