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Mask on or mask off?

Mask on or mask off?

By Emma Craven

It almost seems like things are getting back to normal, with more and more people vaccinated. Recently, it was said that people who are fully vaccinated do not have to wear masks. For myself, my friends and my family who have gotten vaccinated, we’ve all decided to continue wearing masks.

Even though we’re vaccinated and don’t have to wear masks, why do we still feel we need them? Are we wearing it to protect others or to protect ourselves from the unknown? Or do we continue to wear masks to make those who aren’t vaccinated feel less alone because they have to wear them?

Are we afraid of what others may think if we don’t have masks or are we simply afraid that another wave of COVID-19 could rise up again? Have we all become skeptical of the unknown? We’ve become so accustomed to masks that we’ve forgotten what pre-mask life looks like. I have so many friends who have used their masks to tell a story, as an art piece or simply another way to show self-expression. 

By taking off our masks, are we losing a part of our new identity that has been created amidst the pandemic? Whatever the reason, eventually a day will come where masks won’t be sold in grocery stores, people won’t hoard toilet paper and masks will eventually be a thing of the past.

Like so many of you, I am hopeful of what is to come — hopeful that we can all be in a maskless world full of vaccinations and herd immunity in the not-so-distant future. Until then, I’ll be wearing a mask, waiting for the day we can all be maskless together.

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