Mask on? Mask off?

I just went to the grocery store this weekend. On the door it says, “If you HAVEN’T been vaccinated, we RECOMMEND a mask”. But when you enter the store there’s a sign that says, “Don’t forget your mask!” – just like that. With a friendly exclamation point. You could also take the exclamation mark as an order, but I’m assuming best intent here.

Almost everyone in the store had a mask on. A few didn’t. Even the workers were a mixed bag. Some had it on, some didn’t. I ended up putting it on. Then I was in the pickle aisle and no one had it on, so I took it off. Then I went to the diary aisle and everyone had it on, so I put it back on. I’m losing my mind.

I liked it when we were all doing the same thing. Wearing masks or not wearing masks. This weird middle time is not good for me.

Now this post isn’t for those that believe there’s no virus or that this is a global hoax. No, bless your hearts, you can keep going about your day.

This is for those people like me. I know it’s real. I followed all the rules. I made a pod. Wore the mask. I tried to be as safe as possible. But when restaurants opened up slowly last year – we went. First only outdoor, but then slowly indoor. When stores opened – we went. When vaccines came out, we got it.

We have close friends that have lost family to Covid. I’m not diminishing the severity of what we just went through – but I’m also desperately wanting it to be over.

Isn’t it possible for me to completely believe in the science of it and also want to wear lipstick again? I’m just so done with it.

If there was a scale from 1-10, 1 being the folks who thought it was a hoax, and 10 being the people who washed their delivered groceries in the garage until last week – I’m a solid 6. Maybe a 5.5. My family was careful for sure. But not the most careful, if you know what I mean.

At the beginning of the month we had a family wedding where there were literally people called “mask police”. Worst job since Norton on the Honeymooners. They would follow you around and if you were not sitting – you needed your mask on. Fair enough. My entire family was fully vaccinated at that point but I did what they asked. No big deal.

Compare that to a week ago when many of the restaurants near us dropped the capacity rules. My husband and I did our all time favorite thing. We had dinner at the bar. They still had those plastic shields up, but it was great. I want more of that.

I want no masks. I want parties. I want to go to Shoprite without hyperventilating and figuring out which aisle I’m allowed to walk into. But I want everyone to do it together. Impossible?

I thought it would be easier. I thought I’d be ok with the “you do you” approach. But it’s causing me anxiety.

You know who I like? Airports. I like airports. They have a rule. Everyone needs a mask. Done and done.

You know who I also like? All the places we went to this past weekend on the Jersey shore. They had no signs at all. No one wore a mask. Not even the servers. So we didn’t either. And we were not sorry.

I like wearing a mask on a plane or a train. I don’t like wearing a mask almost anywhere else.

I cannot be the only one. Mask haters when fully vaccinated unite!

Happy maskless Monday. Maybe.

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