Each day that goes by I become part of a larger minority.

I’m one of the few who still wears a mask indoors.

I’ve never understood why people had such a problem with masks. I don’t even understand how people can say they don’t do anything positive. If this were true, why do so many professions require them.

Dentists, dental assistants, surgeons, others in the medical profession, welders, people working with chemicals and steam, those operating power tools, HVAC workers, ice chippers, painters, sanders, laboratory workers—they all wear a face mask or shield. It has nothing to do with a pandemic. It’s a safety precaution for them. It’s safety from debris hitting them, from exposure to dangerous microbes they can’t see (much like a deadly airborne virus that causes a pandemic), and helps protect patients they are breathing on.

See, masks are a tool in their trade.


Kae Reed wears a mask in 2020 made by her sister who is now an avid anti-masker.

With masks keeping these people and so many other workers safe, why wouldn’t people in everyday life want to take a similar precaution?

All of my massage clients are vaccinated and boosted. I’m boosted and will get the second booster.

I can’t afford to get COVID. Sure, I could swing not working a couple weeks, but being self-employed means I don’t get paid sick leave. I can’t use up vacation time because I don’t have that either. I also don’t have disability insurance through work; though I could pay for it on my own. I don’t know if long COVID would be covered. Yes, it’s my choice to be self-employed. I love it, but it also comes with the reality of knowing I don’t have a safety net umbrella that I had working in the corporate world as an employee.

I also want to stay healthy to be here for my 87-year-old mom who I live with.

I have family members who won’t wear a mask at June’s reunion no matter what; and there will be people younger than 5 and older than 80, along with people who have health conditions. Several family members also won’t take a PCR test ahead of time or a rapid test upon arrival. I’m not going to the reunion for a variety of reasons, but in part because people chose to put money (potential loss of deposits/airfare if they tested positive) ahead of everyone else’s health. These are not the type of people I want to socialize with.

After tennis camp I took a rapid test to make sure I was COVID-free before going home. To me, this was the responsible thing to do. Call it living in fear if you want; I’m OK with that.

I don’t think wearing a mask or wanting to take precautions makes me not living my life to the fullest. Most of what I like to do is outside—tennis, hike, walk, bike. There is a concert this summer that mildly interests me but I’m not ready to be in such a venue without COVID protocols. That, though, is the only thing I’ve said no to this year.

I expect I’ll wear a mask on airline flights long after this pandemic is in the rear view mirror. After all, how many times have you heard someone hacking on a plane or come down with a cold after flying? A mask can help keep those germs from entering my body.

Mostly I wear a mask in stores and at the post office—the two types of indoor places I frequent most often. Dining out is a rarity for me (always has been), but I do size up how far apart the tables are or opt for an outdoor spot. I felt uncomfortable at the indoor post-ride dining venue at the Wildflower event last month without my mask. I got my food and beer as fast as I could before sitting at a table outside. Why large tents weren’t set up is beyond me.

Our house policy remains: no one comes in who isn’t vaccinated, and if they aren’t, they must be masked. Neither my mom nor I have had COVID. I want to keep it that way. Next to be decided is how long we have this rule, and if we keep it, will boosters be required, and then one or two?

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