Unmasking our feelings on masking
My feelings on masks have shifted in the last couple of months. I desperately want teachers and kids to be done with them. The psychological impact is significant. And I think the social, emotional, and educational impact on my two young kids will be huge. My son rarely interacts with adults other than us who aren't in a mask. That's not ok for development. And it breaks my heart a little every time I have a client say that their kids are used to them and totally fine staying in them if it means other things can move forward. I get the sentiment because I say it myself. I will stay in a mask if it means my kid can take hers off. But just because one is used to it doesn't mean there isn't an impact they aren't aware of. Just as I started to feel more safe moving around the world in the summer of 2020 the more I had to do it after lockdown, the more we will feel safe without masks once the mandates are lifted. Without realizing it we are holding ourselves back because the mask sends the signal that it's not safe to be in a space with others.
After reading this, it's a comfort to take another deep breathe and feel like "no, I'm not a criminal" Half of my life I was a shy, scared introvert and worked very hard to be in the place I'm at today. I enjoy life. I want to be out in life and sharing joy with others. The anger and oppositions have exhausted me and I don't enjoy that atmosphere. Be who we are and accept others for who they are.
I have hearing loss and it is so frustrating to try to communicate thru masks. The speech is muffled and I cant read lips. That said, if the location says I have to wear it (I was at a medical center today where they had signs up all over and still a woman got on the elevator with me wearing no mask) or even if a friend is more comfortable if I wear it I will. I dont have to like it tho...but one good thing is when its so cold the air hurts your face the mask does help with that.
You'd probably appreciate my day-after-Walz-lifted-the-mask-mandate story. I walked around Target without a face covering smiling at people. I was near a panic attack, but I felt so free. ;)