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Tha Native’s Photographer, Jerry D

Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well and staying safe. Tha Native is constantly posting and mentioning how we need to stay safe and wear masks. As the experts have already said, wearing a mask can be as good or better against the virus than a vaccine. This was said months before the vaccine was available.

Maybe they exaggerated a bit to try to influence people into wearing their masks since they had to fight against Trump’s messages against wearing one. And, of course, Trump’s cult members ran with the message of not wearing one. It became a matter of freedom to them. Who cares that we should wear them to protect those around us, whether or not if we know them. But, they are, one way or another, our extended family; our fellow citizens; our brothers and sisters. I mean, what needs to be said to make people realize this is not about freedom, this is about common sense and trying to keep everyone safe and healthy.

People don’t seem to understand just how easy one can catch this virus. It is extremely easy to get it, and now there are new variants that are even more contagious, although we don’t know how much worse they are as far as attacking one’s body. But the way the original one is spreading around America is shocking and scary. Hospitals are filling up. Thousands of people are dying every day. But I guess facts don’t matter if you are a conspiracy theorist.

And please realize, because there seems to be some real confusion, we don’t wear masks so that we are protected from the virus. We wear masks in case we are infected & contagious. Wearing a mask when we are contagious keeps us from spreading the virus. Surgeons don’t wear masks to protect themselves from their patients during surgeries. They wear masks so fluids from their nose and mouths, and sweat too, don’t drip into their patients bodies. Remember, it is possible to carry the virus and be contagious, yet have no symptoms at all. So, this is why we wears masks. It is not a freedom thing; it is a taking care of our brothers and sisters thing.

Well anyways, I recently had a long conversation with a mutual friend of Tha Native named Jerry D. Jerry D is Tha Native’s very good friend and long time photographer. Every time you see a nice, professional looking photo of Tha Native, it was probably snapped by Jerry. In fact, some photos on will have Jerry’s logo, “Jerry D Photography”. Look him up in Upland for a photo shoot or wedding or whatever you may require. You can also visit his website at

Well anyways, I had heard that Jerry got Covid-19 not long and I was very concerned and wanted to reach out and see how he was doing. I actually haven’t seen Jerry in some time. I then had the idea that I could see how Jerry’s doing and at the same time, interview him and see if I could make a blog about it. The desired outcome was to gather enough information and stories from him to help educate readers of Tha Native blog.

During our conversation I learned some very interesting information from Jerry that I did not anticipate. Good information that I would love to pass on to everyone here. Sort of like how I mentioned above that we need to wear masks to protect other people, not to protect ourselves. So, if everyone wears one, and also keep a reasonable distance, then we will all be protected. If we all do this then the virus cannot spread nearly as easily and it will eventually die out. So here are some things that came up in our conversation:

One very notable thing that Jerry said was with or without the current pandemic, he normally self-isolates to keep others from getting sick when he feels ill.

I totally agree with this. We have all encountered people at work who are admittedly sick, yet they go to work and infect others. Maybe it is the American mentality that we feel we must go to work no matter what. And in some cases, unfortunately, people have little to no sick time available. This is another unfortunate problem in America.

In the future, if possible, stay home when you’re sick. And if you must leave the house, wear a mask regardless if you just have a flu or cold or Covid-19. No reason to infect everyone you come close to. Maybe this can be a new thing going forward to help stop or slow down illnesses when they start up.

I asked Jerry if he knows how or who he got it from. He had no idea. I think this should tell you that even if you always wear a mask like Jerry, if others aren’t wearing them and/or aren’t keeping a safe distance, you can still pretty easily get it. It is believed that the virus first started spreading in a restaurant from one table to another close by. The ventilation or A/C may have blown the virus, which was floating in the air as the infected person/people spoke, to the table next to them. So you see, it is very likely you can spread the virus to people you aren’t even talking to because the virus can travel several feet. And again, wearing a mask does not protect you. It could, however, protect people you are talking to from you.

I must mention, for those of you who think it’s no big deal, Jerry suffered for weeks and luckily did okay with it in the end. But it did linger for some time, as he explained to me. But unfortunately, Jerry has friends who did not fare so well and became very ill and even died. This is truly sad and awful because it means people were probably careless and as a result, the worst possible outcome happened.

As I get to the end of this I realize that the big message I want to send to you all, and one that has been strongly reinforced after my long conversation with Jerry is this: Wearing a mask does not keep you from getting the virus. Wearing a mask protects others around you in case you have the virus. If we all wear masks when necessary, then we are all pitching in to protect each other and we can beat this thing quickly, especially with the vaccine roll out moving along quicker than ever.

This reminds me; there was an idiotic politician who complained and pondered several months ago that he didn’t get covid until he started wearing a mask and so maybe the mask caused him to get covid. No dummy. It was probably the people around you who didn’t wear one.

Of all the people out there who need to be educated on this because they need to educate and protect the people they represent, he was doing the opposite. He didn’t educate himself on how and why wearing a mask works. And then he puts out the message on TV that maybe wearing one caused him harm, which is miseducation. Amazing!

On that note, I want to say one last thing that stuck out to me in my conversation with Jerry. Jerry wore a mask immediately after recovering from Covid-19. He did this to be a good example. And maybe to make people feel safe who understand that he is protecting them by wearing one. But because he just recovered, he very, very likely was unable to spread the virus, but still wore a mask anyways. There are people who never had the virus and refuse to wear a mask and will probably eventually get it and spread it to others. Yet Jerry is unable to spread the virus and still chooses to wear a mask. Now how about you do your part.

What did John F. Kennedy say? "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." What you can do for your country right now is wear a mask, educate yourself on Covid-19, and be safe. The more vigilant we all are, the sooner everything will open back up and the sooner we will be back to normal. And don’t complain about wearing a mask and simultaneously complain that everything needs to open up again. You can’t have it both ways. You must do some work; very simple work; wear a mask. You might actually save a life.


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