When wearing masks in public first became mandatory last year at the beginning of the pandemic last year, I assumed that I would never, ever, feel comfortable, let alone happy, wearing them everywhere. Fast-forward a year, and wearing a mask in public is as natural for me as brushing my teeth every day – I don’t give it a second thought. Crazy, right?
Now that doctors and scientists have developed multiple vaccines to protect us against COVID-19, some states, including my home state, are lifting mask regulations for people who’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine. While I’m thankful for this obvious sign of progress, here are four reasons why I’ll still wear a mask in public:
1. Respect for Others
COVID-19 is a frightening virus that has left many people seriously ill and killed many others. Therefore, it’s completely natural for people to fear the virus and feel safer in places where others are wearing masks. Continuing to wear a mask respects those who are immunocompromised or are afraid of our mask-free “new normal.”
2. Protecting Myself
It’s still possible to catch COVID-19 after you get the vaccine. However, the vaccine can lessen the effects of the virus. Personally, I’d prefer fewer COVID-19 symptoms, or better yet, none at all, so I’m going to continue wearing a mask. Plus, last year, I didn’t get sick with other illnesses, like sinus infections or the flu, nearly as much as I usually do in a year. My mask could have been the reason that all of those nasty germs stayed away!
3. Force Of Habit
Many people say that when you do something for 21 days in a row, it becomes a habit. The COVID-19 mask mandate has been around for over a year – so wearing a mask is habit for me.! I’ve already reached the point where I feel “naked” if I go anywhere without a face covering. Who else can relate?
I’ll be honest: I’m not always confident in my appearance. I don’t like the gap between my front teeth and the occasional stray hair that sprouts from my chin because of my PCOS. Wearing a mask helps me feel more comfortable with going out in public because no one can see what I look like.
When I wear a mask, no one knows who I am, which makes my introverted self happy. I can also get away with sticking out my tongue at people who annoy me!
I’m undoubtedly thankful that we’ve made enough progress in fighting off the pandemic that many states no longer require masks, but I’ll still be wearing mine. My mask protects me and others around me and helps me feel more confident – what’s not to love?!