Note: Bug Bytes are simple snippets, quick thoughts. Thanks for reading.
This is a scenario that’s played out multiple times when I’ve been running on the Manhan Rail Trail or in the woods near my house on a conservation trail:
I’m approaching a family with a small child. The parents see me and tell the child to step away. Everyone scrambles back. I have a mask on. No one can see that I’m smiling. I can see the child thinking, “Danger. Danger.”
“Have a good walk,” I say, trying to insert some humanity into the situation. Sometimes the parents respond, sometimes not.
I witnessed the most extreme case of fear last weekend. I ran five miles, two of which took me into the woods. I passed a mom, dad, and little girl twice. Each time, I had my mask on; I offered a greeting, and a smile, and both went unreciprocated.
What disturbed me deeply, though, was the look on that little girl’s face as I passed by, both times.
She was terrified, like I was carrying a gun, like it was pointed at her.
What are our children learning from COVID-19?
I am frightened for them.