The increasingly parochial observations of a casual runner in his fifties. Was "serious" about "the sport" until personal and sociocultural inevitabilities prevailed.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

All good and bad puns involving respiration are taken

If you're using public recreation paths, unless someone has a cattle prod to your ass, you have consciously chosen to assume the known risks of being on those paths. Those known risks do not, at this point, include a statistically meaningful chance of becoming infected with COVID-19, assuming social distancing is maintained (and probably if it's not, although if you get within six feet of someone running or cycling when you don't need to, especially me and my dog, you're asking for it anyway, more in the form of slobber than irritation).

You can find this information in a lot of trustworthy places (example), which is really the point of this post: Try to avoid being scoldy when you don't know what the fuck you're talking about, even under the aegis of playing health nanny. Most of the noise in the world is made by people who have no idea what they're talking about, and adding to the chorus only helps cement the status of the U.S. as a religion-crazed, dipshit-happy armpit, or if you prefer a more sanitized analysis, a formerly proud nation now in an unfortunate and precipitous decline. (As someone honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, I can use my service as a shield to say whatever I want about the United States and applauded for it, like everyone on Twitter claiming to have had a limb blown off in Afghanistan.)

If you are telling people "Wear masks anyway," you make just as much sense as someone warning you about catching AIDS or getting pregnant from contact with toilet seats, and people who have in fact attempted to gather trustworthy information on the issue have no more obligation to take you seriously than they do someone wandering the neighborhood and drinking gin out of an inverted toilet plunger while sticking copies of the Watchtower on everyone's windshield.

I wear a mask to stores, which I have mostly avoided since early March in favor of delivery services and a smattering of high-yield home invasions, but when running I wear a bandana around my neck, and only in case I do wind up unexpectedly face-to-face with someone, as that someone, per local demographics, is likely to be older and suspicious. The chances of this are also about zero, but if I can set some octogenarian's mind at ease by doing the underfed Jesse James bit for a few seconds, I play along. It admittedly helps that I am never in a hurry while running anymore because it's more like walking with a bad case of hemorrhoids -- just an excuse to be in the sun with one or two others; as a result, despite not being patient or even remotely civilized by inclination, I'm always the first to yield when a footbridge is about to become a shared space or whatever.

I've seen people running with masks, and if we have a few more days like today, I'm gonna see a few of them in cardiac arrest, especially the ones who just started last week and haven't been told black running tights are a bad idea when it's in the eighties and cloudless. Maybe it's a fashion thing. It's also a Florida thing, although there it's usually more Sporthills than tights. Also black though, when it's even hotter, and sometimes with an appropriate partner like a huge Malamute. No offense, but if Florida disappeared in a hurricane, every remaining survivor would cheer with such unbridled ecstasy that many of them would never be able to make vocal sounds again.

Obviously, this would be made somewhat easier if the cunts in the White House weren't locking down the CDC. And no, I don't care to call them anything else. The U.S. government, led by bloated fuckrags a lot of people still like, is censoring vital health information during a viral outbreak in attempt to both cover its recent incompetence and manipulate public opinion. That sounds like a banana republic to me, and ideally they'll all wind up dead with shit in their pants. Rush must be getting close.

If someone runs across your lawn and crop-dusts your family with a combination of CLIF Bar breath and gluten-free flatulence, then you can lodge a complaint about the trespassing, but you stand a roughly equal chance of becoming seriously ill from either form of aerosolized insult.

Here's another secret: You can consciously control the flow of gas through the holes in your face -- both magnitude and direction. And sometimes I make a show of turning away, or not exhaling or whatever. But all of this is easier because I am a jogger. I sometimes go for runs without the dog that are more wide-open, but I wait until dusk or nightfall for that so I have a lower risk of, God forbid, having my plans scuttled. The paths aren't mine either, but they sure do clear out after about 9 p.m., when the greatest risk is passed-out bums and bros stretched crosswise across the concrete. These specimens can usually be rolled into whatever creek is running alongside without much effort and while attracting little notice, and the bodies must surface in Kansas or something because to this point we have seen nothing in the papers.

(Sometimes, to mix it up, I wear a reverse-mask, like The Gimp from Pulp Fiction, which covers everything but my mouth and nose. Well, eyes too if we're being pedants. And ears.)

Well, I've kind of buried the lede here, but even if you merely think you can catch a mortal illness from a runner, then why are you out there optionally? The question kind of answers itself: You really don't think that, but you think you're supposed to say it. Well, take your walking sticks somewhere else. Also, we throw a brick through a random window at 8 p.m. every night as a show of appreciation for stone-masons and glass-makers the world over.

God bless.

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