Who Is That Masked Lady?

Pam Pollock
September 2020

 I’m just going to come right out and say it, I HATE wearing a mask.  When our state first mandated the wearing of masks inside businesses, etc. in mid-April, I really struggled to adapt and adhere to the requirement.  I am asthmatic and I have never liked having anything cover my nose and mouth.  I have lost count of how many anxiety attacks I have experienced since April.  Sometimes I will sit in my car and just shake before putting on my mask to go into a building.

I have quite the collection of mask, I am always buying new ones in my quest to find one that I can breathe in.  I have not been successful yet in that task, but I have a couple that do not make me freak out as badly as the other masks have done.

I am swayed into purchasing new masks by the fabric patterns.  I have masks to fit most of my moods (and personalities)!  I have a mask that clearly states what I think of the governor of my state, which I won’t share here because I don’t want my Mom to yell at me for being bad [yet again}…

I have a custom made mask with a photo of my dog on it.  I get a lot of compliments on that one.  I have 2 masks, which are some of my favorites, with photos of the Assateague Island wild ponies.  I love these lightweight masks, not only because I can breathe in them, but AI is my happy place and I love photographing the wild ponies when we visit there – which we did not do this year because of COVID-19.  Another favorite is one I just bought from Norwex, and it, too, is lightweight.

I have a whimsical Tinkerbelle mask and masks that show my love of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Steelers.  I have masks with otters and elephants, which my spouse stole to use for himself.  I have a polka-dot one, which reminds me of I Love Lucy.  I have masks with Panda Bears and masks with Patriotic American Flags.  I have masks ordered with the face of Mike Rowe, the host of Dirtiest Jobs. I have a box of the blue paper masks.  

I have a mask telling everyone who frowns at me and runs the other way when I sneeze or cough (and I am wearing that mask at the time) to: “Calm Down Karen, It’s Allergies!”  Because, well, I do have allergies and it’s high allergy season right now.  For some reason, this mask does not make people smile.  Good thing that they can’t see my entire face, because underneath that bad boy I am definitely smirking at their displeasure.

Somedays, ok, most days, I am grumpy and that’s when I wear my Hannibal Lecter mask to warn everyone to engage me in conversation at their own risk.  

I had to make a FasterCare emergency visit back on May 5th and I asked the nurse how much longer he thought we would have wear our masks.  He replied, “I am guessing through May.”  His guess was wrong.  Who would have thought that we would all be masked and mysterious six months later and that businesses would still be shuttered, and others only permitted to operate at 25 or 50% capacity?  Or that we still can’t get in to see our loved ones in personal care and nursing homes?

I never get political and never share my thoughts and views, but I am going to close this column by remarking that for the 2nd time ever during an election year, I am scared.  The 1st time was 4 years ago, and I was relieved at who won the election.  This year, I am in fear of what will happen to our Country if the other candidate wins.  I urge everyone to sit down and read what changes and laws could be implemented.  Ask yourself if this is really what you want for our nation.