Carnes: I want, I want, I want |

Carnes: I want, I want, I want

Welcome to the Vail Valley! Now put on your damn mask.

“Woah, dude, why so harsh?”

I don’t mean it that way. How’s this: Now put on your damn mask, please.

“Oh, I get it, you’re one of those…”

One of those what’s?

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“One of those typical liberal types, all hot and heavy with your collectivism to do whatever the government tells you to do, even if it’s not in your own self-interest.”

No, Spanky, not in the least. In fact, I’ve never voted “liberal: in my life, whatever that means. And for the record, I always wear a seat belt, stop at red lights, and never drink bleach in spite of what the government says. All which, I might add, is to protect my own self-interest.

“So why all the babble about wearing a mask?”

It’s simple, I want this thing to end.

“You mean this COVID thing?”

Yes, Sherlock, this COVID thing. I want to go to a store without having to remember to take my mask on the way out the door. I want to go to restaurants and bars and sit next to people. I want to shake my friend’s hands when I see them and hug their girlfriends and/or wives whenever it’s appropriate. I want kids to go to school without having to spend one minute worrying about standing too close to their best friend. I want teachers to go to school without having to worry about catching a virus that might kill them or spreading it to a family member at home.

I want the Huskies and the Devils to play football for county bragging rights with the stands full of students shouting and screaming their fool heads off.

I want the Denver Broncos to play in a stuffed-to-the-rafters Mile High, even if they’re being slaughtered by the Chiefs.

I want the parking structures and frontage roads full of cars every single day on Thanksgiving week. I want locals to bitch and moan about it incessantly.

I want six-person chairs to carry six people, gondolas packed and the Ford Amphitheater crammed with standing-room-only guests paying 10 bucks for a Coors Light.

I want to watch a premiere in a jam-packed movie theater and Front Range TV talking heads do the news and weather in the studio instead of judging the backgrounds in their houses.

“OK, OK, I get it, there’s a lot of things you want. But what about fascism and socialism and Bill Gates and Dr. Fauci and hydroxychloroquine and the election and—

“None of that conspiratorial crap matters, because no matter what you choose to believe, what science you ‘choose’ to follow or how desperately you try to politicize the whole thing, this virus ain’t going away on its own. The only way we’re ever going to return to ‘how things used to be,’ in one form or another, is by doing everything possible, including wearing masks, to make COVID-19 go the way of polio, the mumps and disco music.

No matter how strongly you wish to debate the efficacy of masks with every waiter, bartender, and sales clerk you accost, it will only serve to prolong our collective misery. And it doesn’t matter if you’re local, from the Front Range, or Allah forbid, from Texas, we all have to do our part to get it out of our lives.

“Oh, that’s right, you hate Texas and blame it all on them.”

I was born and raised in Dallas, you dolt. Texans fund half of this valley, and thus are the easiest scapegoats to make fun of, and it’s been that way around here since the beginning. 

“But I thought—”

That was your first mistake, just shut up and put on your damn mask.

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