Paul Prather of Mount Sterling, a Pentecostal minister and former Lexington Herald-Leader religion reporter who still writes a column for the paper, has a Facebook page with a diverse set of friends and followers. Recently, he asked them, “Are my wife and I alone in still taking precautions against covid-19? I’m beginning to feel as if we are. Are you wearing masks and practicing strict social distancing or have you returned to your pre-pandemic lifestyle? Either way, what’s your rationale? . . . I’ve ever experienced what I feel now—that those around me could not care less whether they kill me. That the lives of those who are older or have chronic illnesses apparently mean nothing.”
Prather reports in the newspaper, “The responses weren’t what I’d anticipated, in volume or content. What I learned from my Facebook friends (mostly) lifted my soul.” He estimates that 98 percent those who responded said they wear a mask, but suspects that “way more than 2 percent of my friends aren’t wearing masks or social-distancing now, if they ever did. Apparently, for whatever reasons, these folks didn’t feel comfortable declaring themselves.”
Prather writes that he has the impression that “hardly anybody was taking precautions,” but “After my post, I realized far more people are acting cautiously than I’d imagined. . .. The reason it seemed they weren’t there was that—duh!—they weren’t there. That is, they weren’t the folks cramming into Walmart or Lowe’s or massing on Florida beaches. They were home.”
As for his own attitude, Prather says he approaches the pandemic much like driving — an inherently risky proposition but one that can be managed safely.