Please reconsider the way things stood on Tuesday, 2.25.20. Five and 1/3 months ago, give or take. The post was titled “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” and it contained the very first photo of a Hollywood-centric journalist in any country or on any coast wearing a mask. I distinctly remember a longtime publicist friend remarking on Facebook that the mask photo had taken things a bit far, and my replying that I had done so with a humorous attitude. Not so funny two or three weeks later!

And please look at the world infection map that was current back then. Almost all of it in Asia and Italy. And please take special note of the comments from that malignant asshat Mr. F. who accused me of being panicky [after the jump]. And Mr. Sunset Terra Cotta saying that the situation was being exacerbated by “an alarmist, pathologically dishonest news media. Fortunately we do have that.”

My response to accusations of pandemic paranoia was that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you’re walking along 23rd Street during a Manhattan snowstorm, is it ‘freaking out’ to sidestep a big slush puddle? Have you looked at all the photos of people in Venice and Milan wearing facemasks?”

Don’t Stand So Close To Me“, chapter and verse: “And let’s not shake hands, just to be on the safe side. And don’t cough in my vicinity. But man, I really hate the idea of wearing a surgical mask. By the way: Now is the time to book airfare to and hotels in Venice, Milan, Lombardy and Veneto.”