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Am Vaccinated, But Still Mask Wearing

May 23, 2021

This weekend was a very good one for this household. James and I received our second Pfizer vaccinations, and as I post this on Sunday night we have not experienced any negative reactions. Though I have joked that the soreness at the injection site has rendered me unable to fold laundry! Where is my sling?

In two weeks we will be at the point where it is reported by professionals that masks are no longer required when ‘out and about’. But we both will continue to wear a mask when groups are milling about and there is no way to know if they have their shots. We have not been in an actual store for 14 months, and have no intention of eating at any restaurant for some time to come.

And I know we are not alone.

Yes, we believe in science and data. Yes, it might seem odd, then, to wear a mask when the CDC says it is not required. But here is the thing. While the vaccine is a powerful tool to combat COVID and to minimize the severity of the virus should it take hold in my body, I really would rather be a bit safer and simply not contract it. I am weirdly wired that way, I guess.

In the past 10 days, there have been news reports about some folks in this nation filling plastic bags with gasoline as a way to ‘stock up’ during the pipeline problem in the southeastern part of the nation. Now, I am to believe we should trust the honor system when walking among my fellow citizens thinking they have made the proper judgment regarding the vaccine.

I am not in the midst of schools with children, business offices, manufacturing floors, or the bubbling masses of folks each day but I do care for the vulnerable populations who are in such environments. Therefore, I wish to make it possible for them to stay safe as we are aware of the huge numbers of people who refuse to be responsible and get vaccinated. It is imperative that we still strive to find the best mitigation efforts, and part of that process is really simple.

Wear a mask.

The reason is obvious in that there is no way we reach that overly optimistic place of herd immunity. There are simply going to be a lot of chuckleheads who will not take the vaccine. And they are going to be at the places you shop, attend concerts, sporting events, along with a host of other activities. As such, I am very pleased to see some Madison businesses stepping forward and acting with regard for us all.

My isthmus neighborhood in Madison is really most special as over the past weeks James and I are again walking in the evening and taking in all that spring offers with green growth and colorful blooms. Over and over, if there are people ahead of us on the sidewalk either we take to the street, or just as often the other party does. It warms my heart that there are many who still regard this virus as our common threat, and treat each other as we would treat ourselves. As we pass each other I always say” thanks.” The common refrain is “of course.’

We all want to move forward and surely can do that following being vaccinated. We have had that in mind for many weeks as we created a brand new outdoor social seating area at our home with a bevy of places arranged for that time when those we know, who also were vaccinated, will again be more than just a voice on a phone. We started making invites this weekend, and thrill to the eagerness of our friends who want to smile and laugh face-to-face.

But when we walk down State Street or when shopping for our own groceries (it is the little things!) we will still wear a mask. It is the smart thing to do.

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