The outdoor mask mandate has finally lifted and we don’t know how to behave. In fact, many have opted not to change their behavior at all, continuing to wear masks out of precaution or habit, I’m not sure. We still have to slip on masks when we step indoors anyway, so we all wear them somewhere–if not on our faces then dangling from chins, wrists, or elbows.
I feel positively undressed leaving the house without a stifled nose and mouth. Sometimes in public I get that sudden cold sensation like those nightmares of being at church without sufficient attire.
And I realize how much I relied on my mask to skip flossing after breakfast. Or how I developed the habit of puffing a breath to push my mask away from my face. Now I let out a big puff and nothing happens (except the passerby who eyeballs me).
I’m now aware of the faces I’ve been making behind my mask. “No more beaver faces!” I remind myself now and then. Making beaver faces always gave me a private satisfaction when I was particularly tired of masks. I’m trying to kick the habit.
Yesterday, I saw the police and subconsciously grabbed for my mask before I remembered. How strange to march past them in a freedom that last week would have solicited a fine!
With this measure of freedom, I choose to be respectful of those who continue to wear masks, whatever their reason may be, giving them extra social distance or momentarily slipping on my mask in their presence. If I want them to respect my choice, I need to respect theirs. But don’t mind me over here doing a happy dance…
Photo by Vera Davidova on Unsplash