By Amy McCollom
So those of us who have been inoculated against the COVID-19 virus, we have now been given the go-ahead in many places to shed those cumbersome masks and run naked-faced through the streets and shops once again, carefree and throwing caution to the wind!
Hmm. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I was just building up my colorful wardrobe of masks to match my outfits, and now this. I can certainly breathe easier without a mask covering my nose and mouth, but I was starting to get used to it, really. I had learned which ones I liked, how to wear them so they wouldn’t fog up my glasses, and I felt comfortable with the anonymity they offered too, as I don’t always like to socialize. Sometimes I don’t want to be recognized.
I guess when you look at it, there are some good things about wearing face masks, huh. They offer us one more way to express our personality and make a statement (if clothing, jewelry, and body art isn’t quite enough.) And as I mentioned, masks do offer a bit of privacy to people who do not want to engage in expression sharing with others. (Like when I’m pretending to be a ninja.)
I don’t know about you, but I have had fewer colds and illnesses since I’ve been wearing a mask than in times past. I’ve also been washing my hands more frequently and keeping things at home cleaner as well, so there is that too. So who knows. Maybe masks help keep me from getting sick, maybe they don’t. I’m not touching my face as much when I wear one, though.
Wearing a mask did help me deal with unpleasant odors, like too much cologne, cigarette smoke, car exhaust, and smelly feet. Just for that purpose alone, I think I will keep one in my purse for days out on the town or in crowds. Pandemic or not, a mask would be more polite and reasonable than pulling my shirt up over my face to avoid a horrible smell. We’ve all been there, whether in an elevator with a sweaty construction worker or standing in line behind someone who took a bath in Patchouli cologne. You can only hold your breath for so long before you feel like you’re going to die. A mask helps, well, “mask” that odor.
Still, I know there are plenty of people who cannot wait to toss their masks into the air like a graduation mortarboard and shout hooray! Ahh, to just breathe the air again without the fabric on my face!!! I am overjoyed that we will be getting back to a more normal way of life before this whole pandemic happened. It’s like a gift has been given back to us.
I will be so happy to be able to just sit in a restaurant and not worry if it’s only a drive-thru or if a store is going to let me in or make me wait until a percentage of people leave before I can shop. I do not like a lot of crowds, but I do miss seeing people out and about. I do miss things being open. I do miss people watching, and going to the mall, and just being able to feel free again. I miss seeing smiling faces! No rules, no mandates, just life in the USA.
Let’s take it off! Let’s run with bare naked faces down our streets, to ice cream shops, to parks, to ball games, to county fairs, and let’s have a fun summer!
And those masks, save a few. Better safe than sorry. But renew, reuse, repurpose some too. Here are some ideas of what to do with the extra masks that we no longer need once we have our COVID-19 vaccines:
Make a quilt, hammock for hamsters, headbands, curtains for tiny homes, sleep masks, sexy underwear, dog halter, parachute for Barbie dolls, bird feeder, squirrel swing, bracelets, dog muzzle, purse, crayon holder, drink cozy, pet costume, hair bow, bow tie, kneepad, elbow pad, pot holder, reusable toilet paper wipes, wall hanging.
Naked or not, I hope I see a lot of smiling faces this summer. Keep washing your hands, that part doesn’t go away. Stay safe out there, my friends.