The news is encouraging. States and counties all over, are finally seeing lower transmissions, hospitalizations, and as the trend goes, deaths from Covid19, from the current variant. Our fingers are all crossed that this will be the end to the pandemic, so that it can be dealt with more like a flu, as it was often mischaracterized in the beginning. Because like the flu, there are now vaccines and treatments. And that is just one main difference. In the beginning of the pandemic, there were no vaccines or treatments. It was clear this was no flu. And the bigger distinction, flu never took the lives of so many from one outbreak as Covid19 has taken.
For the longest time, all we could do, is follow recommendations for something we had no idea what we were dealing with. It should have been no big deal really. We initially were asked to wash our hands and stay a decent distance from each other. Admittedly, the whole mask recommendations were a big debacle in how they were handled, whether due to shortage of supply, or efficiency, or even laziness by those unwilling to do the most basic of covering their mouth/nose when they sneeze or cough. And let me tell you, I saw my share of human “pigs” just spew nasal eruptions directly to the store shelving in front of them, no barrier between their face and those exposed during this time.
I will not waste my breath on the endless political arguments and false tropes on what was necessary to get through Covid19. Here is what I do know. I have followed the recommendations, ALL of them. I am one of the few that I know, that has still not been tested positive. And I plan to keep it that way. Which means that the mitigation efforts I followed did work. I want to be clear, this is not a judgmental statement either. The mitigation efforts may not have been perfect, but clearly they did prevent the pandemic from being worse. But it would have definitely been better to have more people willing to do what was necessary. No doubt, this would have been over sooner.
So with numbers continuing their downward trend, mandates and recommendations are being dropped by states and local governments. There are still some that are keeping efforts in place as they are just not there yet with their numbers. Even with the constant updates from the CDC, my daughters school district held an emergency meeting yesterday, and voted on an updated safety policy to reflect the new CDC guidelines, which now reflect masks being optional. And in spite of the meeting being held to change the mask requirements, there were so many parents still expressing their political outrage at something that was now a moot point.
I did not even need to ask my daughters, if they would continue to wear their masks for the time being, to wait for numbers to go even lower. They are doing it willingly. Because they know how important it is to those in their lives, especially me, that they not be carriers of Covid19.
But not everyone will be like my daughters. There will be a major “release” of those wanting to shout from the rooftops “off with the masks,” by anyone who has been opposed to them. In just the last few days, I was told twice, and I emphasize “told,” I “could and should” take of my mask. They see the removal of the mask requirement as if it were proof to them, the masks were not needed in the first place.
Again, I have not had Covid. And I do credit masks for that. I do not do crowds even without the pandemic. I have not stayed isolated “in fear” as some proclaim politically. I get my own groceries. I pump my own gas. Last Summer, prior to the Omicron outbreak, I even took my daughters on a small trip. Neither they or I caught Covid, because we still followed the recommendations since we were not done with Covid19.
They understand that I have a compromised immune system, and struggle to maintain antibodies. I have already had three full doses, which it took to get me the coverage needed. A blood test next month, will likely reveal, my coverage pretty much depleted, needing a fourth dose. Meaning, I am still at risk. But I am not going to hide. I am doing all I want to do. And I am doing it with the advice given to me by my doctors.
So, when someone says to me, “you can take off your mask, I’m vaccinated” or “take off that mask you don’t need it,” I politely say, “yes I do.” It does make a difference to me. You do what you want to do and I promise I will not say anything to you about it. All I ask is the same in return.
The downside to the mask for me, as a cancer survivor who struggles with a multitude of health issues and restrictions, I do all I can to hide it from everyone physically. The outer shell that is my body, hides the trainwreck inside. But the mask, will let everyone know, there is something wrong. I am okay with that, because I follow my doctors’ advice and recommendations. They know what I must do to live through this crisis.