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Why I'll Still Be Wearing My Mask Without the Mandate

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I wasn’t a huge fan of putting on a mask and wearing it to do simple errands at the beginning of this pandemic. But one year later, I’m a huge fan. Why? Simply because I feel better physically with one on.

Before the mask mandates, things like going down a grocery store aisle full of scented candles or laundry detergent were pretty much unbearable to me. I’d have an instant asthma attack, it’d trigger a migraine or I’d become faint. I dreaded doing what I had to do with so many sensitivities.

Let’s talk about the asthma for a moment though…

I have allergic asthma, meaning allergies trigger asthma attacks for me. My allergist prescribed me meds, an inhaler that helps so much and told me how important avoidance is. I have to avoid things that will cause me to have problems breathing and also have to keep wearing a mask all year long. In fact, she said that the pandemic helped her patients wear their masks without embarrassment because nearly everyone around them was doing it too.

And it’s not just asthma and allergies, but those awful migraines. Scents are a huge trigger. Simply putting gas in the car is a migraine guarantee. Wearing a mask becomes barely tolerable, but tolerable for me. When you’re looking for migraine hacks, you’ll take what relief you can get!

Not to mention the benefits of wearing a mask during allergy season this spring!

The CDC now recommends that those who have been fully vaccinated stop wearing their masks unless directed otherwise in certain situations. I’m vaccinated, a personal decision based on my existing health conditions, but my mask is still coming with me. No doubt, I’ll lapse my consistency in wearing it only because it is definitely eye-rolling-annoying. I mean, I lost count of all the times I exited the car without one only to turn back around and frustratingly march back for my mask to enter a business.

But overall, if you see me sporting a mask, just smile and wave. My body, my choice, and trust me, I fight every day to feel my best with chronic illness in this body. Feeling my best is my choice even if that means no one else will be looking the same in the way they go about doing what’s best for them, too.

I’m not paranoid, I’m practical. And mask-wearing has been an experiment that’s worked for me. It’s now in my health tool kit.

Image by Erik McLean on Unsplash.

Originally published: May 16, 2021
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