Still masking.

Seen on Twitter yesterday:

In recent weeks in New York, the masks have been coming off. The Governor dropped her mask mandate several weeks ago (minus a couple of exceptions), and most counties have followed suit. My employer, The Store, kept its own masking policy for employees in place…until yesterday, when masks were made “optional” for employees who are fully vaccinated and boosted.

I’m still exercising my option to wear the mask, and I plan to keep doing so until the policy is revised to forbid them.

Why? Well, I set out my reasons for simply not minding masks back in September, and my opinion has not changed. I do not hate wearing the thing. Most times I forget it’s even on after a few minutes, and at this point I feel weird without it. But it’s not just that: I like being at an even lower risk of either contracting or giving someone else COVID. And moreover, I like the fact that I have not had a cold in more than two years.

I’m not a sickly person in general, but in “normal” years I could usually count on getting “the bug that’s going around” a couple times a year. From the first scratchy throat to the final cough clearing up would usually take around a week to ten days, and while it wasn’t debilitating, it wasn’t fun, either. And with masking and maintaining a healthy distance from most folks, I haven’t had a single cold since sometime in 2019. I like that.

And you know what else I like? I still like not being told to smile. I live in a world that overvalues the smile, with the expectation that everybody must have a giant permagrin at all times. The removal of masks has reminded me of this, as one of the biggest selling points is “Now I can see everybody smiling!” With a mask on, I smile as much as I ever did…but with the mask, my nonsmiling moments aren’t nearly as frequently assumed to be angry moments.

Honestly, I’ve reached a point where noses and mouths look odd to me. I’m fine looking people in the eye, not having my mood judged, and not having spent money on NyQuil or Mucinex since Josh Allen was a rookie. So yeah, I’ll be keeping my mask on a while longer, if you don’t mind.

Actually, I’ll do it if you do mind…and really, that might be another incentive to keep wearing it. I mean, if you saw Ron DeSantis yelling at some kids to take their masks off the other day…well, screw that guy and anyone who thinks like that.


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