If you had told me this time last year that the mask my sister sent me that had been made by one of her artist friends would still be the thing I put on every day leaving the house like it was my eye glasses I would have said you were crazy. I never imagined wearing a mask every day for over a year.

Anyone who knows me knows I am the fresh air queen. I open the window in every room. I can feel suffocated if my shoes are on too tight. So the idea that I could wear a cloth mask over my nose and mouth for a year was almost unthinkable. But I did it just like everyone else since this whole COVID mess started and we were told to wear them daily.

Many people including people in the know wore the mask to prevent COVID. I agree it had to have that benefit but that was not my reason for wearing one. I actually think I managed to have COVID twice. Once before anyone was worried about it and then this past Christmas. However, I never tested positive for it or the flu so who knows whether I had it or not.

The main reason I wore the mask was I knew it made other people feel more comfortable around me. I have a year-round post nasal drip that has me coughing and sneezing regularly on a good day. If I had gone maskless at all someone surely would have accused me of being one of those people who went around coughing on people to be obnoxious.

I also realized as time went on I was less affected by things in the environment. I had fewer episodes of post nasal drip when I was out and about because the mask was filtering out some of the irritants. So needless to say the mask became comfortable to wear on a daily basis.

So what will I do now? Just last week I had bought myself a new supply of cloth masks from Old Navy. What will I do with them? Here is what I have decided. I am vaccinated so I can go without a mask and I believe I will starting tomorrow (May 19, 2021). I realize that my post nasal drip will be back with a vengeance thanks to the pollen but I will deal with it.

I will always have a mask with me now just like I carry makeup, tissues, candy and sunglasses. I will think of it as that extra accessory that I carry on the off chance I need it to enter a store or a building but I don't think I will be wearing one to make people feel safe. I am ready to breath unobstructed air again. As of tomorrow, I am going to one of the maskless in America.

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