We should get over our discomfort and help others

Published 4:22 pm Thursday, July 2, 2020

“When can I get this cast off, Daddy?” my daughter asked me.

“Soon,” I answered.

“It’s so uncomfortable. It itches and it smells funny,” she said, looking with upturned lip down at the cast on her left arm.

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A year or two earlier she’d sat down on what was left of a fallen tree in our yard that I had cut and we hauled to the street edge to be picked up. She slipped backward and landed on her left arm, breaking it just above the elbow.

Now she’d broken it again, in almost the same exact spot. This time she’d tripped at softball practice while she was cleaning the batting cage. Strike two, but she was still out.

She was anxious to get this cast off not just for all the reasons she’d mentioned, but also because we were going to Walt Disney World in just a couple of weeks and she did not want to have an inflexible monstrosity wrapped around an upper limb. Or any limb, for that matter.

Thankfully, all worked out that the doctor felt she was healed enough to remove the cast before we left on our non-refundable trip to Southern Florida.

I hyper-extended my right knee a few years ago by doing something very reckless at my job. That’s right, I was walking.

Whatever happened, my knee gave way suddenly and decided to bend backward at a pronounced angle. Never have I felt pain like that. Maybe worse pain, but nothing just like that. It was almost an out-of-body experience.

I was laid up off that leg for two weeks, then in a wheelchair or on crutches for a few more, then a cane before being able to walk normally again without fear of my knee collapsing. It was very uncomfortable and very annoying, honestly.

I felt a bit embarrassed riding a motorized scooter through a department store, but it helped me keep up with my family and it took stress off my damaged joint.

You know what else is uncomfortable, possibly itchy and funny-smelling? A mask, like the N95 masks or homemade masks that are recommended for us to wear to help curb the spread of COVID-19. For some, they’re even embarrassing.

Many people have preexisting conditions that make them more susceptible to disease. People like me. The courtesy of wearing a mask could be a literal lifesaver for some of those people.

I could say it’s my right to not wear a mask. I could say it’s uncomfortable or otherwise inconvenient. Or I could help others and wear a mask. I could get over my personal inconveniences and annoyances and do it for the sake of those who need to be protected more than I do from a very real health threat.

So could you.


News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com.