I am an Elvis fan and so know his more obscure work, including a lachrymose (but powerful) ballad he sang called The First Time Ever I saw Your Face. It's a fitting theme song for a muse about the first time I ever didn't see a face - and perhaps for you as well since we're now about a year into the disease process of weaponized hypochondria.
I was seated inside the coffee shop where I used to spend a few hours almost every day, working on my laptop in the company of other people - a once-normal thing since made abnormal by people afflicted with engineered fear about a virus that isn't even 1 percent Hantavirus (which results in death - not "mild symptoms" or a "positive test" - in about 40 percent of those who contract it) but which they insist must be feared as worse than Hantavirus.
And which they believe - the correct word, as thinking does not apply - can be warded off by wearing a reusable piece of cloth over their portals.

A year ago at this time, almost no one wore this strange device - precisely because it was a strange device - like a Hare Krishna's saffron robes - and the wearing of it made the wearer look . . . strange.
Stupid, too.
In the first place, for believing that a piece of cloth covering their portals served as an effective palliative against a purportedly highly infectious and extremely dangerous aerosoled virus. This being of a piece with the belief of Dr. Van Helsing that a crucifix wards off the undead. In the second - and more substantive place - for not being serious about what they pretend to believe is an extremely dangerous aerosoled virus.
If they really believed it, would they risk buying a cup of coffee in a cafe full of possibly virus-suppurating people?
Do they place such little value - about $2 for a cup - on their lives?
Apparently so.
That's what I thought to myself as I watched this woman approach the counter with a piece of cloth covering her portals, the strange device we know today as the Holy Rag, the vestment of the Sickness Cult. Everyone else in the cafe watched, too. It was like watching Michael Jackson order coffee because at that time no one else except that sad freak and a few others so afflicted behaved - and looked - like this. The sight is both curious and alarming, precisely because of the pathology it radiates.
This person is sick - psychiatrically speaking. Hypochondria is a serious mental illness.
One feels pity for them but also unease - because people who aren't wired right are unpredictable and sometimes dangerous.
As we all know now.
The effaced woman got her coffee - and stayed inside. Sat not "socially distanced" (that pathology was as yet unknown) from others at her table, her faith in her vestment's protection far more powerful than any actual protection it afforded.
As the saying goes, ask your doctor (not Fauci) about the effectiveness of wearing a piece of cloth over your portals prior to a tour of a Hantavirus ward.
Would you enter a Hantavirus ward with nothing more than a "mask" over your portals? One from a box that said on its side it offers no protection against aerosoled viruses? A bandana?
But then, Hantavirus doesn't require faith in its potency.
The curious thing, from a psychiatric perspective, is that the people who manned the counter at this coffee shop - Sweet Donkey, in Roanoke Virginia - also thought it was odd and also silly.
Initially.
Before they were programmed to believe differently or at least pretend they did.
I knew these people on a friendly basis (I later found out I was mistaken regarding the latter) because I was a "regular" and had gotten to know them and they me. We'd exchange friendly banter as I ordered my coffee and sometimes a snack. They seemed reasonable and nice, as most Americans one met casually seemed reasonable and nice only about a year or so ago.
But there was an underlying pathology there, soon to percolate.
The same people who raised an eyebrow and expressed pity at the sight of a freak wearing a cloth over their portals were in just a few months' time ferociously wearing them and demanding the same of others, so that everyone would look like a freak - in order, I suppose, to efface the freakiness of this freak show by making it appear universal.
I was excommunicated from the cafe for not being willing - for outright refusing - to express faith in the absurd by placing a piece of cloth over my portals. I don't dance around a sombrero, either - especially if they don't pay me to do it.
Now, a year later, I am the "freak" - along with the stalwart few who are immune to sickness psychosis but nonetheless forced to deal with its disease process, in the manner of having a crazy uncle in the attic except the crazy uncle is on the loose - and has the backing of the government.
. . .
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