COVID-19 Series

Concentrating on COVID: Maskng Wildcard

With the recent changes in the COVID masking order, it has been confusing to say the least. Especially if you are vaccinated, it can be more cumbersome as to where you are mandated to wear your mask. To further compound this issue, it can be challenging because it is on the honor system and you just can’t go up to someone and ask if they are vaccinated because of privacy laws. To further compound these issues, in my state next week, all COVID-related restrictions will be lifted.

In the course of a week, I have been in several establishments that some do not require the use of a mask if fully vaccinated, do not have a masking policy in place, or still follow the mandate. The name of the game these days are “carry your mask with you at all times.” As I always said, the vaccination is simply extra armor that helps you fight the virus, it isn’t an end-all catch all for preventing it totally. Everyone should keep their guard up, regardless if they have been vaccinated or not. Everyone should also use common sense by staying home if they are sick to prevent others from getting sick.

I for one know I want to get back to the things that we did pre-COVID. I miss being able to go around town to the different businesses. That has been put on hold in many cases simply because of the domino effect of employees receiving a surplus of income therefore creating a shortage of those who want to enter the customer service workforce. This results in many establishments having to close earlier and even some locations having to shut down for entire days at a time. While many of us want to get out into the community again and do the things we once did, it becomes challenging when those things that we once did are stalled by not having the capability to do them because they aren’t staffed.

As hard as it may say that if one wants to return back to some sense of normalcy, they must understand that it will very likely in no way be the same as it once was. Although government regulations will be lifted in the near future, establishments still can at their choosing put upon themselves to keep their additional regulations as they see fit. Yes, we may have to do some things that we may not feel comfortable doing such as submitting to temperature checks or having to wear a mask. While this may be a temporary inconvenience for some, it is important to take the positive outcomes of what you are doing while putting the downfalls on the back burner.

Of experiencing all the changes of COVID, it has taught me that I need to work on myself my taking care of my body by being active and eating sensibly because I know the benefits will pay off in the long run. I am seeing it pay off in dividends the outcome it provides. It is imperative that I keep up the good work that I am doing because I will be closer to achieving my dreams. I realize that I need to step out of my comfort zone too, and that isn’t easy for me as it isn’t for anyone that is autistic or has social anxiety.

With that said I need to be proud of the things that I have and realize all the things that I have accomplished on my own, especially those achievements during COVID, like getting back on my feet and having a new home and discovering myself more by realizing that medication is an important tool in my mental health recovery. There are things I want to do down the road, but for now, I am in a good place by further discovering who I am and standing up for who I am and fighting for what I need.

To think, next week, in Pennsylvania we will have many of the restrictions lifted off of us that we once had imposed for over a year. While I sense freedom as it already happening, there is nothing that I can do but protect myself from being sick and realizing when I am and take the proper precautions so I can protect others. I know there will be a day when we will have the ability to take off our masks and return to that normalcy that we had a few years ago.

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