The Recurring Nightmare During the Pandemic

My nightmare wasn’t ever about someone I care about dying. Rather it was something…more sinister or just a greater personal fear of mine.

It starts like this: I am going somewhere public. Whether it’s work with people I don’t really know. A public mall. Some gathering. As I look around, I realize that I am the only one masked. Am I supposed to be wearing my mask, I worry to myself. What are they thinking?

But I resist because I had made decisions previously to mask and be safe. And yet, I am vaccinated and even with the confusing recommendations, I hesitate to go maskless.

But then yesterday happened. In recent weeks, I have been a bit more looser about outdoor masking. The heat is one factor of course, but I have decided to accept the studies about outdoor activities—it’s safe. So I let it go.

But then with everything they say that going maskless indoors is fine. I am wary of course due to the increase of cases by the Delta variant.

And with yesterday’s incident where Chris forgot his cloth mask and thus had to use my blue disposable mask, which broke shortly. I went maskless and it was like it was before. The Before. It felt uncomfortable, but normal. And yet I don’t know. I felt exposed. Not just to potential viruses and bacteria. But knowing that people see me, like really see me. I don’t want to be seen. Not until I actually want to be.

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