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I am going back at the gym – or at least trying to. It seems others have returned as well, although many look like they never stopped going viz. they are in shape.  Compared to them I look a fright. What also separates me from these sorts is I wear a mask. Few others do.* I also wear a mask when visiting Uncle Albertsons and everywhere else I go.  Why do I still wear one, I hear Spo-fans say, as I’ve been vaccinated and there aren’t any strict laws anymore about wearing one in public,?  I will tell you:

It ain’t over. Covid19 hasn’t gone away; people are still getting it and dying from it. There are variants, and we don’t know if the vaccine will cover immunity from these. History shows whenever a plague or epidemic starts to dissipate, weary people drop their guard and lo! there is a surge of the pathogen. We are in that stage now.  History is likely to repeat itself.

Safety. I am back doing some face-to-face appointments at the office and I can have many in a day. Many of my patients are elderly or frail or have immunosuppression diseases.  I could be spreading covid19 without realizing it.

Transformation of the norm. I am hoping to lead by example to change the culture on the topic of wearing masks in public.  A few patients of mine who are of Asian background tell me wearing a mask in public (particularly during flu season) is a common and accepted matter. I would like to see masks similar here in the States. It would be nice to see someone masked in public without questioning a person’s motives or their politics.

There are also less logical reasons:

Petulance.  Being in mask my version of a wearing a red MAGA cap; it broadcasts to the world what I believe, but also it is a sort of bait for anyone with enough effrontery to question my wearing it.  So far this hasn’t happened. I am ready however with a series of responses carefully worded to make the miscreant squirm.

“I am a doctor” (true, but what does this mean? Imagine some rude-boy retaliating with ‘well you doctors don’t know anything” which would lead to ‘and where do you get your medical information?” long enough for them to become discouraged and leave.)

“I may have covid” (also true. Imagine them still arguing with me on keeping it on”)

“I wear it as I am thinking of others. It would be selfish of me to do otherwise” (ouch)

Security. I am used to them; I feel more secure in one.  When I walk about without one, I feel exposed and awkward. A

Fashion, baby-cakes, fashion, .  The masks I see are either dreary black nylon types or those blue paper disposable devices.  My masks are unique designer Spo-shirt derivatives of gay colors and patterns that fill the world with light and fabulousness.  Why would I NOT want to wear one out in public?

*It is curious to see the demographics of the ones wear them. I do not see any patterns to who does and doesn’t wear one. To my surprise, the elderly overall do not wear masks, probably because they have been vaccinated.  The 20-30yo studs do not wear masks, nor did they ever. 

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