Risking my respiratory health is probably a bad idea


As a way to pass the time and to be constructive, Tina and I have decided to paint our house in North Carolina.

One of the first stages of the process was to remove cracked window glazing and replace it with new. To remove the old, I sat by the windows with a hair blow dryer and softened the old glaze enough to scrape it off. Dust and debris would kick up. I didn’t realize I should have been wearing at least a regular mask.

The next day, I could feel it in my chest. It burned. And there was a brief period of worry that I had the coronavirus. But the following day, it subsided.

Then we started moving again with painting with paint sprayers. I am personally working on ceilings and the eaves around the house which sends paint everywhere and it falls all over my face. In the mirror, my nose collected a ton of white boogers.

The next day, I could feel my chest burning again. Not a significant burn, but enough to cause concern again about Covid19.

Although a google search rendered many respiratory issue results for people doing exactly what I’m doing, i.e. painting with a spray gun.

Earlier this week, when I was ignorant about the process, I saw two painters’ masks at Home Depot. Probably an oversight after the president asked businesses to donate their masks to the government for hospital use.

Yesterday, they were gone. I’m going to do my best to create a larger barrier between me and the paint using old t-shirts or even boxer shorts. I left cold weather running gear in Chicago that could have been helpful during this mask shortage. Damn.

I was thinking a bit more about my post yesterday. I hope it didn’t come off too harsh against my religious friends.

I wish deeply that science and religion weren’t such enemies.

Part of me was thinking about the idea that religious folks are turning to that mindless trope that this epidemic is punishment from God for LGBT sins or secularization of the world, or Godlessness, or any number of “return to God” scenarios.

But what if it’s actually a call from God to simplicity. To get out of the mindless drudgery of 40, 50, 60, 70 hour work weeks and spend more time at home with family.

Maybe it’s an opportunity by God to give us a break from thinking life centers around one’s job and more about one’s health and the health of others.

Maybe our emphasis is on the wrong life living. Maybe our priorities at church, school, and work need to be re-directed to something else. Politics need to take a back seat. Quiet the world around us to the birds chirping, and stop blasting the atmosphere with all of our pollution and superfluous industries that don’t matter in the long run … but our relationships with our loved ones do.

Even though I can’t see and touch my family, we’re talking almost every day. Tina and I get more time together.

Can’t any of us agree that that is bringing people closer to God?

I wish that the fire and brimstone, this is a punishment, return to God folks would reevaluate their messaging and look at this not as hurting their pocketbooks or their collection plates, but reimagining what is good, honest and loving.