The month of woe in many places, with heat and smoke interrupting life in many ways.
Still the suffering can seem limited, depending on a person's location. Escaping Washington, D.C., humidity to Billings in southeastern Montana can be a blessing since record high temps aren't matched here by exorbitant rises in the humidity scale. It's possible to sit outside in the shade and not feel encumbered by a hot cloth. To date the only inconvenience wrought by unusual weather patterns has been a city order to reduce times that residents can water lawns.
Does that amount to sacrifice? Maybe only if you are in charge of keeping the golf course green.
The subject is a good 'safe' one for conversation. Not so a visitor's questioning store employees about why the rule to wear masks has been dropped - well, everywhere else, too, it seems. The Albertson's clerk comes out from behind the fish counter with an offer of help while I look over the selection. That alone - the gesture - was striking but not as much as the sight of the man in a blue stretch fabric covering the entire lower half of his face. I start to question him when he says "I"m growing a beard" - as if that explained things. (How many men are vain about hair growth on their face?) He plainly wasn't fearful of a virus and didn't want me to think so. I can't resist asking in turn that if the public he serves close up aren't concerned about the Delta variant, especially in unvaccinated people, infecting others? A non sequitur maybe. He isn't interested and turns away.
Over drinks an emergency room physician says nearly all victims coming her way these days are unvaccinated but the hospital does not make it mandatory to give such people a shot...even when she explains the likelihood that all of them have the Covid virus that could lead to an early death.
Attitudes are everything. Heaven help the unwary and unwise. Drink up and forget what can't be changed.