Ginger and the Mask and Shot Mandates
A Canine Teaching Moment

Ginger and I have a very close relationship. We will discuss things that interest us. Each morning, we circumnavigate the lake on which I live. However, I hope to move to another lake with various family members from all over the world.

In the meantime, after Ginger and I have breakfast, I’ll go to my computer, where I’ll write and teach for several hours. Ginger will want to go play Chuckit at the end of the lake. Then we have lunch, and I return to my computer until late afternoon when we play Chuckit for another half hour.

We both get plenty of exercise time during the day. However, the lake is several miles long, and Ginger sees a lot of dogs. Some of the canines are as large as she, and others are the size of small cats. Ginger always comments about the difference between the size of the dog and its barking. The larger dogs rarely bark. Ginger hardly ever does and only barks once on those rare occasions. However, she wondered why the petite dogs bark constantly. Then after a few moments, Ginger observed that yappy dogs were owned by yappy people.

Ginger has danced with death twice in the past couple of years. Nonetheless, she wants to be around for many more. She wanted to discuss using masks when she is out of the house. She liked my mask in our bedroom. It is on a sculpture that I did years ago when I was in college. It is of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. The hat on the bust was from my family’s balloon ride over Bagan two years ago.

The Black Plague or the Bubonic Plague ravaged Europe killing 75-200,000,000 people between 1347-1351. To combat the plague, plague doctors used a concoction of dried flowers and spices, which the doctors put in the mask’s nose. It was thought to protect plague doctors from smelling miasma. Miasma comes from the Greek word miasma or μίασμα, which means bad air. The bad air caused the plague.

I asked Ginger why the plague doctors masked fascinated her. She liked the color of the mask, and it fitted quite well.

Then Ginger wanted to try on my evil eye mask. She knows all about how the evil eyes keep evil spirits away from the one wearing an evil eye. Whenever I’m out and about, I wear that mask.

In fact, Ginger has two evil eyes on her collar.

The next issue about which Ginger had pondered on our walks related to shots. I give her a vitamin B12 shot every week. It certainly helps to keep her healthy.

I told Ginger that I had gotten three Moderna shots in the last year. My first one was on my birthday, January 20th, and my second one a month later. Interestingly, I got my booster shot on her birthday, October 28th.

Ginger seemed interested that I got my last shot her birthday. However, she wanted me to explain why the governors of Texas and Florida are so upset with mask and shot mandates. I had told her about masks having been worn by millions of Americans during the flu season. Nevertheless, that was especially true during the Spanish flu a century ago.

This is a California family, including their cat, wearing masks.

Mandates have been around since George Washington. He required his army to get shots. The cause of death of the American soldiers wasn’t due to the British army. Ninety percent of the deaths of American soldiers was the result of several diseases. Smallpox was at the top of the list of killer infections.

I tried to explain to Ginger about why Governor DeSantis of Florida and Governor Abbott of Texas are the poster children for the deaths of so many in their states due to COVID-19 and spreading it. Both governors address the coronavirus from what was politically advantageous for each of them. Neither of them listened to the science and medical experts.

If I had a dental problem, I wouldn’t follow what DeSantis tells me to do. If I had diabetes, I wouldn’t go to Abbot either. Interestingly, Abbot was out jogging four decades ago in 1984, and a tree fell on him. What did he do after being crushed by a tree? He had two choices. He could call the governor of Texas for advice or go to a doctor at a hospital. He chose the latter, which saved his life. However, shots and mask mandates aren’t followed based upon what was politically expedient for both governors. Science and medical research were ignored.

Finally, Ginger responded to my mini lecture with a one-liner, “I’m glad you didn’t call the governor of Indiana, or I wouldn’t have made it.”