I’ve come to the realization that being vaccinated made me too stubborn. It also, from an outsider perspective, probably made me look like a disrespectful jerk in a way.
Being unmasked even in 2021 seems to be a sign of disrespect. The mask is a major comfort zone for some. That is why even though I’m triple vaccinated and have (Thanks Be To God) not caught COVID, I’ll mask up again in various scenarios.
You won’t really catch me on the streets of NYC outdoors masked up, but on your local subway or even bus, I’ll mask up for the comfort of others. This all hit me about a week ago when someone on an elevator asked where my mask was. She too was vaccinated but did not want to take any chances . I respect that as Omicron is flying around the country and of course the media is making people panic about it!
Yet, this war over masks in my view has gone beyond what’s on TV. People that mask up are making a personal choice to stay safe . When you are not masked indoors around others especially on public transportation , I am starting to truly feel that not being masked is telling people their safety and worries don’t matter. I feel the only way to respect that choice is by masking up even if vaccinated in spaces like a subway, elevator or bus. Even a workspace where your colleague asks you to mask up. For me, masking up is and has never been conforming to what the government says, it’s been what you feel is best for yourself. I’ve seen many (myself included ) flout those loud public address announcements on the MTA, that’s how I know it’s become more of a personal choice.
Don’t get me wrong, I hope masks are gone in 2022. That will happen in God’s time, I know! By the way, we are not China where they are masked up due to horrible environmental conditions . Yet, I understand this pandemic has put the fear of God into people and those feelings of a safe commute must be respected . Especially if we want NYC to come back stronger together!