Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Free masks are seen outside of the Hamilton County Health Department on Monday, July 6, 2020 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

1. You can't reason with a hurricane (Jimmy Buffett taught us that more than 30 years ago).

2. Jailhouse conversions are very effective. When it is finally you or one of your close friends or loved ones who becomes ill, your vacant political principles always melt away.

3. The mask is not a solution in and of itself. Wearing a mask is a part of the behavioral and cultural shift that we must undertake.

4. We cannot retrieve the 60 days that we just squandered away because people were tired of the quarantine or just "over it." We can learn from our mistakes and begin walking the path of consistent good health and hygiene practices.

5. The safe reopening ship has sailed. There will be no safe reopening. There will be an unsafe reopening with the possibility of improved progress if everyone decides to act responsibly and to do their part.

6. President Bush's Thousand Points of Light must be rekindled. Everyone must commit to protecting ourselves and our loved ones by engaging in responsible health and hygiene behavior. It is a duty to humanity. And to be truly bipartisan: "It takes a village."

7. If you are not a point of light and a willing participant in reversing this pandemic's aggressive spread, then you will ultimately harm not only strangers and people you care nothing about, but you also will harm your loved ones and yourself.

8. A mask is not the magic bullet. A mask can provide some level of protection from virus transmission. And wearing a mask also reminds you and others to socially distance and to be aware of transmission risk. A mask also makes it more difficult for you to touch your face, again diminishing possible transmission.

9. Politics had its turn over the last four months. And it failed. It has distracted from legitimate efforts to manage this pandemic.

10. If you happen to encounter anyone who is still desperately hanging on to political ideologies and who is attempting to suggest some tortured relationship between ignoring safe health and hygiene practices and political idolatry, you should stay at least 6,000 feet away from them at all times.

Contact Michael Mallen, a health, safety and environmental attorney, at

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Mike Mallen