Friday, January 1, 2021


 Good news for Bostonians.

Today I decided to take my walk downtown.  I started near Northeastern, walked all the way down to Quincy Market and back. Probably given the circuitous route I took--owing to some construction and choices intended to mix up the scenery--it was a 6 mile trek.  

About ten minutes in I decided to do an informal study. I wanted to see how many of those pedestrians passing me were wearing masks.  The rules (that I made up were) the people had to be adults and had to be walking towards me.  I wasn't swiveling my head around to do the counting and was not looking to the right or left. Just straight ahead.

I counted 300 folks. Two hundred and seventy two of them were wearing masks.  That, for the mathematically challenged is 90.67 per cent.  This was comforting to me.  And it is better than that.  Of those that I counted who were NOT wearing masks, many of these people had masks but did not have their masks up.  At least three people were smoking or drinking coffee so maybe I should have cut them some slack.  Only about six people out of 300 had no masks on at all.  I found that very reassuring.

I'd not been downtown in quite some time. Some things I noted.  (1) About a third of Quincy Market eateries were closed. There were still some people in the building but not nearly as many as the number that typically jam the place.  (2) Lots of bars and restaurants that would be having holiday brunches on New Year's Day were dark and did not look like they'd been open in a spell. Some places were open and I was sad to see that the tables therein that were close to the windows did not seem to be socially distanced. (3) There was a major line outside of a bakery on a forty degree day, but not much going on in the several Starbucks and Dunkin' Doughnuts I passed.  (4) There is still a good deal of construction in Boston despite the pandemic. Several detours for pedestrians.  (5) Not much motor traffic on New Year's Day. I was able to cross streets that are typically heavily trafficked even on holidays, without much difficulty. (6) Only one person was screaming obscenities at a driver he deemed to be driving poorly. This, for a two hour jaunt, must be a record of some sort for this city.

Maybe I just live in a responsible place, or maybe people all over are, increasingly, wise to the reality that masking up can save lives. 

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