May 27, 2021 at 9:00 am #16716Jenny LivingstonKeymaster
Warning: Today’s post is fueled by emotion. A venting session, if you will. But I also have some legitimate questions.
Yesterday, I attended a school program for my nephews. It’s been ages since I’ve even considered something like this, but since both my partner and I are fully vaccinated and the school had asked that parents and family members wear masks, I thought it would be okay. Surely most people will comply with the school’s request, I naively thought.
In the entire auditorium, I spotted three people (aside from myself and Randy) wearing masks. Just three. Honestly, my mind was blown. Mask mandates have been dropped in my state, so wearing them is entirely optional. But some institutions and places of business are still requesting that they are worn. That didn’t seem to matter yesterday.
Because of our vaccination status, the fact that we were masked, and due to the seating we were able to find (away from other people) we stayed for the program. As the boys performed, I couldn’t help but look around and wonder what the lives of the other audience members were like. There were elderly couples there watching their grandchildren. There was a woman in a wheelchair, using supplemental oxygen. There were many large families with several small children. There was a woman I know who’s young child also has cystic fibrosis. Yet… not a mask in sight. I don’t mean to judge, truly. These people have made their choice for their own reasons and I cannot possibly know their life circumstances. But clearly, they made different choices than I would.
As we begin to re-enter society, I imagine we’ll find ourselves in situations like this more and more. Maybe not auditoriums full of people, but certainly in situations where others are making choices we wouldn’t make or perhaps aren’t adhering to the same health guidelines we choose to.
The current CDC guidelines suggest that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear a mask in many situations moving forward, but for several reasons, I’m still not comfortable ditching the mask. I know many people in my small town refused the vaccine, but I’m fully vaccinated, so how worried should I be?
How are you planning to handle these kinds of situations moving forward? If you are vaccinated, what level of risk are you comfortable taking now? Do you plan to continue wearing masks even after vaccination? What are your thoughts?
May 27, 2021 at 3:02 pm #16727Judy MorelandParticipant
I am not at all happy with the latest decision about mask wearing. We who have been fully vaccinated have no way of knowing if maskless people are also fully vaccinated or not. Some may have not been vaccinated at all (and don’t intend to get vaccinated) and other may not be fully vaccinated. Some may be unable to get the vaccine for reasons unknown to me. MY CF doctor has said I should be extra cautious, and I fully agree. I think that those who are not vaccinated at all and those who have not been fully vaccinated should wear masks and practive social distancing. Because we have no way of know if they do, then I have to do it. This pandemic has really brought out that some people just think about themselves and their comfort level. I don’t know for sure, though, who among the unvaccinated have valid reasons for not getting vaccinated, so I can’t cast a wide net on all who are unvaccinated.
May 29, 2021 at 5:05 am #16940Paul met DebbieParticipant
Indoor, I plan to keep wearing a mask. Outdoor, I will keep 10 ft distance. Vaccinated or not. This I will continue until the virus is no longer around. I think that only a good mask (N95) will do anything relevant in preventing infection. I don’t do well on such a mask, so this limits my range of action. That means I will not be indoor much or longer than 5 minutes with other people, only when absolutely necessary. Since the use of N95 masks is not common, and most people only use what I call halloween-stuff, what other people do or don’t do mask-wise is of little interest to me. In case of hospital visits, I expect medical personnel to use at least an N95 mask when coming close to me. I will still protect myself as well as possible though.
May 31, 2021 at 7:43 pm #16942Timothy BransfordParticipant
The looks I used to get during my CF clinic visits when I wore my N95 mask. The freight I used to sense from the general public when I wore that mask outside the clinic.
Post-covid it’s a different story.
I’m comfortable with social distancing and mask wearing. I’ve practiced this as much as possible for many years. Covid just legitimized an existing desire to protect myself from the greater human environment and still live in the world. When Covid broke I wore the mask to protect myself and to protect others from my potentiality. For an entire year, whenever possible, I stayed home. I wore a mask and was considered either brilliant or inane by the world at large. But I was NOT looked at as a menace to society. It was Covid we were talking about not some hidden disease.
Fortunately, my partner and children have all been vaccinated. My grandchildren (all under 8 years old) practice social distancing and they wear a mask in public whenever indoors. This is their culture now. In response to Covid, we controlled our little world with a family agreement. Because of this, we feel relatively safe when we are together. We will continue this way to a great extent until we feel society has reach an acceptable level of risk.
Lest you think I’m some sort of introvert let me put that to rest. I’m as outgoing as the next person. I can speak in public with ease. I like to express my opinions (for what they are worth). I don’t mind being a little showy.
Social distance and wearing a mask have nothing to with my social self. This is my desire to control the air I breath and the environment I live in, and I don’t intend to change. For the uncontrolled environment I’ll follow these rules: indoors — mask up and keep my distance; and, outdoors, watch the environment and if it gets too uncomfortable, well, on will go the mask.
I do have to stop confronting the unmasked and unvaccinated. It is a waste of time and energy. Their empty arguments have already been dropped in my discard pile. You are what you choose. Your judgment is rendered by your action. You are a threat to others but by adopting my strategy you are not a threat to me. You care only for yourself. You have no sense of a greater human good. I have already written most of you off to the dregs of the human condition. Harsh but if it fits wear it.
Social distancing and masks and vaccines are not novel to those us who live with CF. This has been the most non-lethal flu season we have seen in a long while. It is no mystery. Wash your hands often (even though that is not so much a Covid thing), keep your distance, wear a mask in confined spaces. It all adds up to better health and a safer environment for those of us to live with CF.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.