Dear Jido,

I live in a high Covid-infected area. I do my best to stay home and limit the people I see. Our apartment building has signs up requesting everyone wear their masks, and for one person/party to ride the elevator at a time.

I wear my mask from the minute I leave my door to the minute I come back in. The biggest problem I am facing is with the elevator: people wearing no masks who push their way onto the elevator with me (as in: the door is closing and they stick their hand in to open it). If I see them
waiting, I try to step back and say, “I’ll catch the next one,” but sometimes they push their way on and I feel trapped in this situation. I have been trying to take the stairs, but I run into mask-less people there as well!

We are already so far into the pandemic that I can’t imagine anyone with any sense still not wearing a mask, but I don’t want a confrontation or to escalate any situation. I just want to stay safe!

Do you have any advice on how to politely handle this?

Signed,
Elevator Blues

Dear Blue,

Rabbis, doctors, presidents, governors, mayors, publishers, preachers, principals, teachers, store owners, security guards, transit workers, health care workers, Hatzalah volunteers, and policemen all tell you it is important to cover your nose and mouth with a mask when in public areas. Wedding photographers seem to have a different opinion.

Is it unsafe if you don’t? Is it inconsiderate? Is it overrated?  Ask ten people and you will get ten answers. Is it frustrating?  Yes it is. Can you force people to do something they don’t want to do or feel they don’t need to do? No you can’t. All you can do is to continue taking precautions to protect yourself.

But as long as you are wearing your mask, say a little prayer under your breath for the others who are not, so that they should not be stricken with this sickness because of their own shortsightedness (at least in my humble opinion).

Jido