“The thing about the pandemic is people are going to die whether you believe in it or not.”

Lucy Jones has one clear message. She is a seismologist—you know, someone who studies earthquakes. A California native, she’s got a big job, studying the science and trying to educate California citizens. She created the slogan: Drop, Cover, Hold On!

But when a reporter from the LA TIMES recently interviewed Jones, she had created something new, a message about Covid19.

Don’t Share Your Air!                              Which is shorthand for, wear a mask.

Jones will always approach an issue following the science and not personal emotions. So after reading and researching, she boiled down THE SCIENCE to something that is not up for debate—it’s a fact:

“There’s a lot of ways you could get Covid, but more people are getting it from breathing in the air of an infectious person. If you can’t protect yourself from everybody else’s air, what you can do is keep your air from getting out to others.”


“There are these tiny, tiny droplets that are carrying the virus…If you put a mask on your face, think how it fogs up your glasses. That’s the moisture carrying the virus that is getting caught and not going out to infect someone else.”

“Once those droplets are caught in your mask, they condense and grow heavier and drop more quickly—and thus more safely—out of the air.”

Jones explains that it’s easier NOT to share you air outside. But early on, some of the hardest hit states were those where people were inside because of the cold. People were sharing their air. Now that’s true for states where it is hot, and people are going indoors to escape the heat.

So, the one clear message is              DON’T SHARE YOU AIR.

Simple and Easy to remember.


Lucy Jones knows that in a situation like a pandemic, you can’t get complicated. People get confused. They get hyper and they tune out. You can’t overwhelm people. SIMPLE WORKS. AND SIMPLE NEEDS TO BE REPEATED.

Our federal government has continuously provided poor leadership and confusing messaging. It has offered different ideas, it has vacillated. That makes people crazy and eventually they turn away.

Jones says: “People stopped trying to keep track of the changing advice. They tuned out. They walked away—unmasked—from all of it.”


Jones does admit that because this is a new virus the experts had nowhere to go when the outbreak hit. So they went with what they knew from other virus outbreaks: MAINTAIN DISTANCE FROM OTHERS, WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN.

She also feels that we as citizens and thinkers need to realize that science must play a major part in decision making. Science will have its way. We can’t turn away from science.

“It’s pretty clear we are suffering from our inability to use science in decision making.” And she stresses that scientific reality is not subjective.

“You can believe all you want that the apple is going to fly into the air—and yet gravity still pulls it to the ground,” she said. “The thing about the pandemic is people are going to die whether you believe in it or not.”

Jones remarked that government once lobbied against the findings that smoking was a health risk; and now currently, many in government refuse to acknowledge climate change.

“We’re now in this position where scientific information is treated as something that you believe or don’t believe because of your partisan leanings.” That makes messaging for the general public very very difficult.


Jones believes that in a time of division, where central government and state governments cannot get on one message, we will be the victims of chaos and confusion—all of this during a pandemic.

She wants us to “put our common good in front of our personal discomfort,” and believes that we can still do some good. Why and how? Let’s use the earthquake analogy. Right now we are still in the foreshock sequence. But by wearing masks around others, we can still help reduce the size of the mainshock.


Maybe you are tired of my research on COVID19. But right now, this is stuff we need to know to STAY ALIVE. Thanks for reading.