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Are We Really Finished with the Masks? I Hope So.

I sure hope this return to normal continues, even if it’s by baby steps.

I saw on the local news last week that our health officials are telling us that we’re moving past the pandemic phase of COVID-19 and into the endemic phase. That means COVID is here to stay, but we’ll deal with it like we do the flu. A few days later, we were informed we no longer had to wear masks at work and could remove our signage requiring masks to enter the building.

While I rejoice at this news, I also question it. I never wanted to wear anything on my face in the first place. Face masks exacerbate the respiratory issues from which I suffer, but I had no choice. After two years of being forced or at the very least strongly urged to wear a face covering, I’m curious as to why we were required to wear something last month, but not this month.

As a matter of fact, I was forced to change out of my cloth mask and put on a paper mask when I went to the hospital for my mammogram in January. When I asked why, I was told the CDC had changed their guidelines and said cloth masks weren’t as effective as paper ones. The rules change so often, I wonder if anyone knows what they’re talking about.

I don’t have any answers. I’m not a medical professional. I never wanted to be. I always wanted to be a writer, so my degree is in English. I rely on those in the medical profession to give me good advice that will help me stay healthy. When that advice changes from one moment to the next, I lose confidence in those who are dispensing the advice.

I want to return to normal. I’m sure most of you do, too. I’m thrilled that the mask mandate is no more at my place of employment. I just wonder if it will last. Will I be forced to cover my face again if some high ranking medical official says so? Probably.

My husband and I bought a new mattress over the weekend. The mattress we chose is apparently discontinued, and the only one available in the appropriate size was the floor model. We bought it, brought it home, and I sprayed it down with Lysol Disinfectant. After it dried, I made it up with freshly laundered bedding, and we enjoyed a great night’s sleep.

I didn’t panic at the thought of all of the people who could have lain down on it before purchase. I know some people who are so freaked out about COVID that they would never dream of bringing a floor model mattress into their home. I’m not judging anyone. It’s scary stuff. However, I trust my disinfectant, which is the same stuff I’ve used my entire life. I grew up using Lysol. I do enjoy the more pleasant scents available these days, but I buy it because I know it works.

I wish I still had that kind of trust in our medical leaders. I’ll take what they say into consideration, but I will continue to use my best judgement. I will continue to wash my hands when appropriate, as I always have. I will continue to carry hand sanitizer with me and use it when I feel the need, as I have for many years. There’s no way I’m eating a burger after pumping gas without doing one of those things. That’s just common sense.

As for my mask, I’ll carry it with me and wear it if I deem it’s appropriate, which I don’t expect to be very often. Perhaps we are finally on our way back to our normal lives. That’s the way I’m proceeding.

Have COVID restrictions eased in your area?

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