Bridging the Divided

To Mask Or Not To Mask….That Is The Question…..

Looks like the COVID pandemic is winding down – here in the U.S. at least. Masking mandates are relaxing and people are getting back to their normal lives. The CDC can’t seem to make up its mind regarding when to mask, and consequently, there is confusion out there. The fully vaccinated don’t need to mask, but how do we know if the people standing next to us in the produce department of the grocery store are fully vaccinated? I don’t suppose it is polite to ask to see their vaccination cards? Did the CDC and the current administration really think the honor system would work and people who were not fully vaccinated would continue to mask? Sounds a bit naive.

I didn’t want to be one of the first in line to get any of the COVID vaccines. I guess I was considered vaccine-hesitant, or maybe some considered me an anti-vaccer, but, I finally bit the bullet and made an appointment to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Yes, I even received it after the panic that led to the J & J vaccine being temporarily pulled from circulation. The media is fabulous for creating panic when panic isn’t warranted. In light of the millions who had been vaccinated with the J & J vaccine, I wasn’t concerned about being unlucky enough to get the rare blood clots. I did, however, feel like death, or close to it, for several days after receiving the vaccine. In any case, I work in healthcare so mandatory COVID vaccines are not that far down the road.

So, the dilemmas begin. I plan to grocery shop this afternoon. Do I shop sans mask? The county has lifted the mask mandate, however, strongly encourages their use, unless fully vaccinated. Again, I know I am vaccinated, but do others trust I am? Do I trust those without masks are fully vaccinated? And what about the chance of contracting COVID despite being vaccinated? The possibility is real and not unheard of. 

The biggest dilemma to lifting the mask mandates is that I will need to go back to wearing makeup. No more covering half my face. For over a year I wore very little makeup. Mascara for sure, perhaps some eye shadow and liner, but that was it. Do I even remember how to put it on? Seems a rather rapid and harsh transition. I mean, couldn’t they have eased us into it? Maybe milky translucent masks for a while, then nearly transparent masks rather than ripping our masks away from us like ripping a bandaid off a wound? And, what do we do with all of the masks we accumulated over the past year? Save them until the next pandemic? The designer mask industry popped up overnight, thank heavens, so we weren’t subject to the traditional blue surgical masks – we had choices. Fun patterns and colors, some with filters, some blinged out – I have several with paw prints, and even one with a Yorkie face. Tell me that isn’t fun. People stopped one another in stores and complimented each other on their masks. Sadly, that will now be part of the past, tucked into the history books with the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.

Onward and upward. But first, I think I will slap on my mask for old times sake and get some new makeup. Start fresh, as they say. Which mask should I wear…..?

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