Sunday, September 20, 2020

Lilith and the fact check


He walked his two small dogs across the street to meet Lilith, who was lying on her stomach uncharacteristically, signaling her interest. I asked about his shirt, brown, with the word Bunno on it. I mispronounced it, but he said "Ethiopian coffee," and I remembered he's the coffee roaster we run into every so often. A kind and crinkly face, brown splotchy shins. I say I know someone whose cafe shut down. He says, "lots of businesses are going to close, even in the next two weeks. The governor has been too reluctant to open things up." I mention the recent covid spike, though my heart isn't in an argument today (yesterday). There's nothing that can be done, he says; he has friends in Europe who simply don't worry about it. The flu kills more people. He brings up a _New England Review of Medicine_ article (very prestigious journal, he tells me) that claims masks do no good. Sensing my resistance, he adds that if they help 10%, people should wear them. (Neither of us is.) Lilith and I walk home; I pull up google and ask it about masks at the NEJM. Up pops a "fact check" that contradicts his claim. So I use my mad research skills to find his name and his company's email and send off the link.

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