boozing it up chatting with some friends last night when I shared a realization I’d had on my way to meet them.
It occurred to me that I’m still wearing masks much like I did before Oregon lifted its mask mandate earlier this month. I tell myself a couple of different things to explain this away. First, I’m no longer the youngest person in my building, but I’m still close. I’d wager the median age in the building is at least low-60s. Likely older, so by wearing a mask in my building, I’m protecting my neighbors. But secondly, I’m employing that wait-and-see tactic that I used when Portland first reopened bars for inside service back in…Spring of 2021?
No, wait. Maybe it was still early winter, like November of 2020. I recall, well…that’s not the point. The point I was making was that back then, I waited two weeks before going inside for a beer to see if cases spiked after the re-opening. I’m kind of doing the same thing now with masks.
All that said, on my way down the stairs last night, I was thinking about how my sense of caution has changed over the years. I flashed back to the 90s, when hand sanitizers first came into popularity.
Protective moms were forever slathering the stuff on their kids. My observation at the time was that overdoing it on the antibacterial goop would likely cause more harm than good by creating a generation of kids with immune systems that never had to flex and grow to defend themselves against minor germs. The end result being weaker immune systems and more incident of sickness in these kids as adults.
Of course, I never put much effort into following up on my assumption, outside of randomly announcing that I’d called it when the flimsiest of examples arose. Think: bad flu years, more allergy complaints and, heck…remember that Ebola outbreak?
I realized then, over the course of just a few flights of stairs that I likely needed to re-embrace that less risk averse mindset for my own good now. I mean, I’m vaccinated, boostered and reasonably healthy. It’s not that big of a risk, more just me forcing myself outside my
complacency comfort zone.
It’s been a couple weeks, after all.
So, today, I moved around barefaced, with my nose hanging out for all the world to see. Shockingly, I actually encountered one restaurant that still had their mask sign on the doors during my meanderings. So, I toddled back to the car and got my mask. Easy-peasy. I’ll still respect the wishes of business owners in my community.
But I sure was looking forward to someone challenging me on my continued masking. I had a ridiculous “my body, my choice” response lined up and ready to fire off.
Maybe the next pandemic.