To the Young People on the Trail

When you see me and my friend coming up the narrow mountain trail, most of you put on your masks. If I ask, sometimes telling you that my friend has asthma, you willingly oblige or cover your face with your T-shirt, or even step off the trail to let us by. And then there’s the few who are totally oblivious.

I appreciate that most of you are more than willing to show respect to us, two women in our 70s. But I wonder if you’re asking each other: If she’s so worried, why is she on the trail? Why doesn’t she stay home and do what seniors are supposed to do: play cards, watch TV, knit, bake cookies, talk to your grandchildren on the phone or cuddle with your cat? I know there’s some resentment because my 18-year-old nephew confirmed that he knows teens who run on the trails, three or four abreast, without masks, carrying the defiant attitude that older people shouldn’t be out.

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