I never liked masks as a kid. I have non clinical claustrophobia and I don’t like high necklines, necklaces close to my throat (so no chokers DUH), Halloween masks, heavy makeup, etc. So when COVID started I thought it would be a problem. It was uncomfortable but not undoable. Now that mask mandates are lifting you would think I would not wear them anymore, but I do.
As of June 29, 2021, the CDC recommends that:
If you are not fully vaccinated and aged 2 or older, you should wear a mask in indoor public places.In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.If you are fully vaccinated and have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may need to keep taking steps to protect yourself, like wearing a mask. Talk to your healthcare provider about steps you can take to manage your health and risks.If you are fully vaccinated, see When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on a ferry or the top deck of a bus). CDC recommends that travelers who are not fully vaccinated continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distance when traveling. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html
While not perfect, the CDC is the agency that I trust the most because they are the experts in this arena. I choose to use my own common sense as well but I follow them as a guide. They have not failed me yet. I know masks are a hot button topic and I’m not here to tell anyone else what to do. I’m just talking about my experience.
I have really enjoyed not having any colds, sniffles, sore throat, fever etc for 18 months. I have never gone that long without being sick before. Granted, I still had some GI issues but nothing respiratory. For me, masks are working well not only for COVID but for other air borne illnesses. Huzzah! I’m a fan. I put my mask on in grocery stores and rip them off as soon as I get outside. I don’t wear it in my car unless I am carting people who is not in my immediate family (which is rare anyway). I’m not a germaphobe but I do not want to be sick. So the decision is easy for me to continue wearing my mask probably even after the CDC gives the all clear.
My family is nearly fully vaccinated. My husband got Pfizer and I got Moderna and we have been fully vaccinated for months. We got lucky in that the 12-15 year old vaccines were approved since we have a 12 and 15 year old. How do you like them apples? LOL The 15 year old has been fully vaccinated for a couple of weeks and the 12 year old just got her second shot yesterday. As a family, we still wear masks when in line indoors or in crowded places.
We have reusable masks that I wash frequently but we also have the paper masks that are disposable in case we forget to have a fresh mask in hand. We do not wear masks around each other or in the car if we are alone. No one in our household has been sick other than GI problems caused by reaction to food. We will never tell other people what to do with their lives but we are enjoying being illness free and will continue to follow our protocols.
I say just have fun with your masks – on or off! I hope everyone you love is healthy.