Last year this time, when COVID’19 was tearing down the globe and millions of precious lives were lost, mask seemed to be the only protective shield each one of us had. From the supermarket giants to street vendors, mask mandate has been a common sign on every door that we push or pull. Wearing them seemed to have mitigated much of the risks from the virus.
When a mask mandate was announced last year, getting used to wearing one was a bit difficult for many. Not just for health reasons but many were not ready to compromise on the beauty of going bare face. Though there was an initial inhibition in wearing masks, most of us have been quite comfortable with it now.
During the initial days of wearing masks, I avoided stepping outside expecting that the rule shall end once cases decline and I can escape the mask brigade. But No, the reality was different. For my safety and everybody around me mask was important. Over a period of time, I just got so used to it that without a mask on my face, I feel naked.
I still prefer a cloth mask over the disposable one for the disgusting smell that they have.
Once masks became indispensable in the current world, every clothing retailer saw this as an opportunity for business and started selling them. With celebrities & politicians posing with their designer masks on matching their outfits, it was clear that these masks were here to stay. Masks have become a quintessential accessory in today’s world.
Fast forward to today.
As vaccinations in the majority of Americans surge, states are ready to go without masks.
This news flash from CDC on TV channels left me with mixed emotions. First of all who would be the gatekeeper for the non-vaccinated group? How would you ensure people wouldn’t exploit the ‘vaccinated’ tag to get rid of their masks. Why should we go cold turkey on wearing masks and rip them off? I had so many questions going on in my mind. It was a little scary for me to imagine all the mask ambiguities that were about to happen with this news.
Though fully vaccinated am not ready to abandon my mask yet. Let alone the threat from the non-vaccinated group, masks have been my protective shield from a lot of other things that I am thankful for.
Protection for my kids
With me being vaccinated and aware of the efficacy rates, stats, and all that goes behind a vaccination, my protection from the virus is guaranteed albeit I may be infected; But how would I ensure that I don’t transmit to my kids back at home? With summer around the corner, kids are quite excited about the long-awaited vacations. The minimum protection that we can give them until they are completely vaccinated is to have them wear masks.
I prefer to wear a mask for the safety of my loved ones and also for people around me who are not vaccinated.
Protection from Allergies
With the onset of every season except for the summer, allergies ruin my days with a light-headed feeling every morning, tons of sneezing, and itchiness over my eyelids. Something that I observed last year is that these symptoms were considerably reduced. It could have been because of less travel but whenever I did I had a mask on. I totally attribute those Allergy-free days to my mask-wearing. The filter that goes within the cloth mask helped in getting rid of the pollen particles and acted as a protective layer.
For this, am going to have my mask on.
Protection from other viral infections
Let me agree to this. After I started wearing masks t, viral infections and flu that am usually affected with throughout the years have considerably reduced for the past 14 months or so, touchwood! Why would I want to forego such a protective shield in my defense?
The old lady outside Target who promptly announced “Just the allergies guys” to avoid any awkward attention from the crowd made me realize how conscious have we become these days. After the start of the pandemic, sneezing and coughing in public space attracts a weird look. The Bless you’s after sneezing is no longer to be heard. We are in a world where even our reflex actions(performed without conscious thought) have a conscious impact.
Having a mask provides me with a relief that am not transmitting anything to anybody around me.
So, I prefer to stay with masks.
Protection when people have to get really close
Dynamics with people have changed a lot these days. When people have to get really close to me in salons and spas, I feel a little nervous to talk without a mask on. Guess this is a post COVID mindset that many of us have acquired.
Having a mask on during hair cuts and facials, helps me feel secure. For this reason of security, I prefer having my masks on.
Protection from my ‘Overbite’ smile
For many years, I have been trying to fix my ‘Overbite’ smile. I have always been quite conscious about how I looked while I was talking and smiling.
Every time I visit a dentist they provide me with options that never made me happy. When I was almost convinced and ready for the fix, there was a surge in COVID cases and every non-essential treatment shutdown. Of course, my smile was the least of a worry. Only at this juncture, masks became my ‘True’ savior. With masks, I could pretend on having a ‘Perfect smile’.
I do not want to get rid of this piece of comfort so soon.
Above all, I would like to wear all the masks that I bought for the money I have spent on it 🙂
The world has seen many epidemics but none like COVID 19. Reports doing rounds about people being infected with COVID even after vaccination reminds us that the pandemic is far from over. With new variants picking up around the world, it is necessary that we do not celebrate our victory over the virus yet. With these ambiguous mask mandates across states, people need to be sensible and respectful about each individual’s mask policy. Though vaccinations have proved efficient so far, I feel it is too soon to go mask-free.