Viewpoint: How to land together safely post-pandemic

by Peter Carpenter on March 30, 2021

I spent years as a US Forest Service Smokejumper [pictured top] and then as a Master Parachutist in the US Air Force and as a Marine Corps Parachutist.

When you jump from a plane and your parachute opens, there is a great sense of relief because you know that you will be able to descend safely.

However, when you are 100 feet off the ground, it’s not a good time to say that you no longer need your parachute and that you can simply release yourself from the parachute and fall to the ground. If you did discard your parachute when you were still 100 foot above the ground, then you will have wasted a good parachute—and probably killed yourself.

With the Covid-19 Pandemic we should all be wearing our parachutes/masks until we are all safely on the ground. It makes no sense to discard either our parachutes or our masks.

We are close to the finish but not there yet.

Wear your mask, socially distance, wash your hands—and get vaccinated.

Then we can all safely land together.

Editor’s note: Starting April 15, everyone 16 and older in California will be eligible to get the coronavirus vaccine; people who are 50 and older will get a head start on Thursday, April 1. San Mateo County has a list of providers offering vaccines to eligible populations online.

The author Peter Carpenter is long-time resident of Menlo Park and Atherton; photos courtesy of him.


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