How many hats do you wear?

In the November 13, 2010, Valley Courier, my column --How many hats do you wear?-- was published. I considered different “hats” we’ve worn including the mischievous girl version of Dennis the Menace in preschool and grade school. My personal favorite “hat” was, “Why?”

My parents may well have sighed at each “Why” I presented as a pretend puppy on the floor or the monkey jumping on a bed to avoid bedtime. My questions may have been challenging: Why do busses smell funny? Why do cars go? Why do stars fall? Why do bugs do that? Why is there fog? Why, why, why?

As a reporter, I asked Why did the Sand Dunes Fire take off decades ago and then reported on firefighter sleuths discovering the spark was that burn pit on the Sand Dunes access road.

Then as now, I ask “Why?” Why are some Americans believing the Big Lie and not believing their own eyes of the insurrection on January 6, 2021? Why is science being vilified? Why are some people believing conspiracies instead of the science?

Why are some of the Valley citizens choosing not to vaccinate? Why did I get vaccinated? I can tell you, I did get my 2nd Pfizer jab from Emily Brown’s staff at Alamosa County Public Health. I got it because I want to help others, to stop spreading the COVID-19 virus to others, to respect health and history and not see even more than 600,000 dead Americans.

I got my vaccinations because I took biology and chemistry in college and can understand how one researcher’s progress builds on the discoveries of the scientist before her. The vaccination wasn’t built overnight. It was built across time, from the time of the polio treatments to the flu vaccination to now the covid19 vaccination. It is safe. I trust those doctors and scientists like I trust the Chevrolet engineers who build our cars, SUVs and trucks.

Even though I’m allergic to the world around me, including chemicals, foods and earth grown trees and flowers, I signed to get my vaccination. I knew that the nurses had rescue treatment if I did go into anaphylactic shock. One doctor did when the vaccine was first rolled out and he was treated.

He said, it is safer to deal with an allergic reaction than with COVID-19 itself. I’m proud of my hat—Vaccinated.

I’ve worn a mom hat ever since my son was born way back when in San Anton’.  The hat I wore was a floppy hat to keep the sun off my face in Seguin, Texas, as I tried to keep up with my toddler wobbling through fallen leaves and pecans. I wore the hat remaking my kitchen as baby accessible and removing death-causing cleaning chemicals.

But the truth is that women who move out of their comfortable “hats” into the male-dominated work world like long hauling, constructing houses, medicine, engineering, astronomy, will earn more than women who choose traditional “hats” like “mom,” “office assistant,” “teacher,” “waiter,” and “daycare worker.”

A report the other day on National Public Radio reminded listeners that women still make less than men do on a worldwide scale.  An April report on CNN “Money,” said, “Even in the highest paying jobs, women still make less than men.”  Why?

Why? How many hats do you wear? How many times a day do you ask why? Keep asking and wearing different hats.