After the last blog post, I received many words of support and encouragement as well as extended prayers. I thought those prayers had been answered.

I walked into work, and approached my supervisor. I have to report to him to obtain my mask. He pulled on gloves and dipped into the box, but not before I could launch my tirade.

“Do you know why I wear this? I care about M. who is over 70, and B. who is obviously obese. I have read the statistics and I do not know if I carry the virus, and I do not want to be the one who passes it to them. It could be fatal.”

I probably should have stopped there, but I didn’t.

“If you really cared, you would wear one too.”

He and the first shift supervisor were half listening to a speaker phone. They nodded; I hoped they had heard me.

They did because a few hours later, my supervisor walked by wearing a mask. I nearly cheered. He stopped and asked me what had gotten me so wound up. My supervisor is former military, maybe in his 30’s and as Brad says, “He’s easy on the eyes.”

“I guess its Harold,” I said. “Everyone says he died. Do you know?” He asked me to describe Harold and where he worked.

He said he would look into it for me.

“It just feels too close.” I try not to cry at work; I’m not always successful.

A half an hour before the shift ended, he appeared and held a mask out to my colleague. “I don’t know if you saw the email; masks are now mandatory.”

My colleague cringed. My supervisor put it on the desk saying the shift was nearly over, but he would have it for the following day.

Whew! I thought we were moving in the right direction. I was never more grateful for the prayers my last blog generated, or was it for Gov. LaMont? He had made it mandatory for all essential employees and that meant us.

Then, I showed up today.

No one can force a grown-ass man to do anything he does not want to do. This is a quote from one of the fellows at tech school in Minnesota. Once again, it proved to be true.

My colleague left early in protest, rather than don that covering.

Most of the other guys have them dangling from one ear, or covering their chins. Some in the far corners do not even put them on, since they can see when a supervisor is in the vicinity. There really is no way to enforce it.

One of my colleagues openly points his two fingers at his eyes and then at me. He is not wearing a mask.

I don’t get it. I did not make the rule. I am only following what I think and what has been proven to be the best practice.

On another note, Harold, who was on a ventilator for 14 days did not die, as the rumor suggested that ran through the plant yesterday. I spoke to his brother today. He is off the ventilator and moving into a rehab facility. He has a long way to go, months of recovery, but still moving in the right direction.

For me, that was the best news. The guys and masks will be an on-going issue, but Harold getting a new shot at life felt a little like Lazarus rising from the dead.

We have hope.

By Catstrav

Reindeer handler. NDT tech. Mother of four. Aspiring astronaut.