Two years ago, if I were walking down a sidewalk next to trucks belching diesel, I had to breathe shallowly and mentally plan on the nausea and neuro-huckery that was likely to follow.
When I went shopping at Big Y — well, I couldn’t, because the massive bakery displays at both ends of the store could wipe me out in a heartbeat.
I was sadly giving up my Goodwill/Salvation Army pillaging habits because the unquenchable stench they saturate the stuff with made me so sick it was harder and harder just to walk in there, and my de-stinking magic stopped working on fabrics. Sad sniffle… I used to get half my furniture from there, and most of my better clothes.…
I considered getting surgical masks, but I already knew how many leery looks & disparaging comments that public mask-wearing used to provoke. I try to avoid getting leery looks, because people are a lot less likely to be pleasant or helpful towards someone they’re leaning away from.
Then The Modern Pandemic hit, and everything changed.
Nearly two heartbreaking and traumatic years later, the message that this is the new reality is starting to take hold; testing and explanations of what makes a mask effective is available from legitimate labs and reputable sources; and I’ve made myself 2 custom-fitted, Isy-safe, well-made masks that are easy to clean and dry well overnight.
Colorful though they are, they just don’t stand out any more! Masks are part of the New Normal, and generally provoke smiles and friendliness instead of the opposite.
So, on today’s walk, I wound up surrounded by fuming traffic — and put my mask on. No problem. Then I went shopping at Big Y and went from end to end of the store — with my mask on. No problem. I was too tired to go to Goodwill today, but when I do go there, I put my mask on — and I don’t smell a thing until I get everything well outside and take my mask off. (I can still get the smell off of hard-surfaced things.)
Mind you, it’s not like my own breath is a bucket of roses (!) — but it still smells way, way better than diesel, and it doesn’t make me sick!
It took awhile to realize it, but masks really set me free and make my *whole* world (not just the pandemic aspect) much, much safer and more comfortable to be in.