Unmasking

The CDC’s revised health guidance has a lot of people celebrating — taking off their masks and rejoicing. From a psychological standpoint, I get it. But, from a functional perspective? I don’t get the mask hatred. There’s some work we do outside (cleaning chicken coops, mowing grass, using a chainsaw) where it’s great not to inhale dust and pollen. Since we’ve got masks, we wear them. Even if SARS CoV-2 were completely eliminated from the solar system, I don’t want your cold. Or your flu. Or whatever other respiratory illness.

Before we had Anya, I thought I had an amazing immune system. I was rarely sick — like once every five or ten years. Since Anya started school — preschool, grade school — I’ve learned that I just didn’t have much exposure to pathogens. With a kid in school, everyone in the household was sick basically from November through April. I cannot believe vast swaths of the population spend half of the year sick! This past year, though? Not a sniffle (well, at least not a sniffle until pollen started blowing around in visibly yellow clouds). Why wouldn’t we continue to wear a mask and avoid the gamut of respiratory illnesses?!

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