Why It May Be Too Early to Throw Away Your Masks

I’ve returned to my pandemic hand washing routine. Each time I’m near a sink, I use liberal amounts of soap and water. No one told me that’s the thing to do, but after hearing stories of the rampant spread of the Coronavirus Delta variant I feel safer. News of breakthrough infections have me nervous.  Don’t worry, friends tell me, even if you get sick you won’t die or go to the hospital. You’ll just feel lousy for a few days.

That’s not the point, I think. If vaccinated people start getting sick and they spread the virus to unvaccinated people and immune compromised individuals, the virus keeps evolving. As long as it finds hosts, it is a threat. The pandemic continues and the human population is in danger.

Stepping inside a crowded supermarket to pick up a few items, has me reaching for my mask. I don’t know whether the person leaning over next to me, reaching for that head of lettuce is vaccinated or not. Better to be safe than sorry.

You worry too much, the other voice inside my head tells me. Everything’s open. Enjoy the moment.

My husband and I started taking “in person” dance lessons again.  In order to participate, proof of vaccination is required. We’re holding hands, changing partners, listening to the music, and concentrating on our step patterns and posture. Argentine Tango. Feel the connection. This is a two-person endeavor, the antithesis of my mind set during the Pandemic, when I kept myself physically aloof from everyone except my husband and dog. Learning to dance with different people is part of the process towards gaining a better understanding of the dance.

This morning, on our dog walk we wanted to buy coffee and stopped by our favorite new coffee shop.  The place was packed with patrons, waiting for their orders. I saw two people  survey the situation and put on their masks. No mask in my pocket and no desire to stand in line, I walked on.

We’re moving through a fuzzy moment in time. Pleased to socialize, but warily looking over our shoulders. The United States has a high rate of vaccination compared to other places in the world, but we haven’t achieved 70 percent. Approximately 58% of the population of Maryland are fully vaccinated. Some states in our union only have a vaccination rate of 35 percent. Too many people don’t believe the coronavirus is real. I wonder if they were taken on a tour through a coronavirus ward at a hospital whether they’d believe their eyes.

Young children and Immune compromised individuals are unable to receive inoculations.  Others have a fear of vaccines.

I don’t like wearing a mask. But in certain situations, I think that given what I know it is the wise thing to do.  We have a full box of disposable masks in our supply closet in addition to several cloth ones I launder. No,  I’m not getting rid of any of my masks any time soon, but I am intending to enjoy my freedom to interact with others in person while I can.

Published by Nadja Maril

Nadja Maril is a communications professional who has over 10 years experience as a magazine editor. A writer and journalist, Maril is the author of several books including: "American Lighting 1840-1940", "Antique Lamp Buyer's Guide", "Me, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat", and "Runaway, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat". Her short stories and essays have been published in several small online journals including Lunch Ticket, Change Seven, Scarlet Leaf Review and Defunkt Magazine. She has an MFA in creative writing from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. Former Editor-in-Chief of What's Up ? Publishing, former Editor of Chesapeake Taste Magazine a regional lifestyle magazine based in Annapolis, and former Lighting Editor of Victorian Homes Magazine, Maril has written hundreds of newspaper and magazines articles on a variety of subjects..

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