I went to the grocery store today for the second time in over a year. During the pandemic, I didn’t feel comfortable going inside because I was pregnant, so I had all my groceries delivered. And since the baby’s birth, my Mom had been doing the grocery shopping because she likes to (and also she cooks and I don’t).
One day about a month ago, I stopped in. It’s been remodeled since I last was there and it felt like an event just to walk around and look at things. In part, it felt like an outing because I’d been heavily quarantined for a year, and in part, it felt like an outing because I had a newborn at home and was not used to doing things without someone attached to me and usually screaming.
Today, I went for actual groceries since Mom is not here (Chex mix and canned wine). My local HEB isn’t really bougie enough for me; it caters to suburban families and not vegetarian single ladies who don’t cook and like to live on fancy little snacks and pre-made vegan wraps. But it’s never worth it to me to drive further into Austin to go somewhere else, so I spend a lot of time and money at this grocery store (or I did). I am happy to be able to go back and browse and to use my own bags again.
I am still wearing a mask inside places, but very few other people are. I am fully vaccinated, but I’m wearing one mostly because other people don’t know that I’m vaccinated, and I want for immunocompromised people and people with minor children to feel comfortable rejoining the world again also. But this seems like a pointless gesture as nobody else is wearing them, so I will probably stop soon.
I think it’s reasonable to still be wearing a mask, because there has been a lot of contradictory information about whether or not vaccinated people can transmit the newer variants, and so people aren’t really sure what they should do. I also think it’s reasonable not to wear a mask, because from everything I can tell, vaccinated people can’t actually transmit the virus and it’s fine to stop wearing them. I don’t think it’s reasonable to get mad at other people for wearing or for not wearing a mask in this part of Texas right now, since either choice seems reasonable at this point.
But I am aware (thanks to The Internets) that some people are very angry at those of us who are still wearing masks. They feel that wearing a mask at this point is either due to sheer stupidity and sheepish media-driven fear, or is an obnoxious attempt at virtue signaling, or both. It’s never made sense to me to be angry at people for wearing masks, since even if it’s not necessary, it doesn’t harm anyone. Why the fuck do you care if someone else wears a mask? Maybe they just don’t like the way their face looks, what’s it to you?
I like mask wearing because it relieves me from the pressure of smiling at people, it covers up my jawline acne, and I don’t have to worry about my breath. But I don’t like it because it fogs up my sunglasses and is uncomfortable. I will probably stop wearing a mask soon, but I imagine I will still wear one on planes when I travel again. I always get sick after a flight, and K-pop singers and others have been wearing masks for travel for that very reason for long before the pandemic. I don’t know why it took the rest of us so long to catch on.