Mask Free at the Library (Again)

Last Friday, the University of Maine system announced that they were removing the mask mandate that has been on campuses for since last . . . summer? Who can really remember at this point. In any case, that meant that when I came back to work on Monday, I no longer had to wear a mask, though of course people were welcome to wear masks if they chose to.

So far, I’ve really been surprised by how many people are still wearing their masks. With all the public belly-aching there’s been around mask wearing, I somehow had the impression that most people were wearing masks because they were forced to, not because they wanted to. And instead, it’s probably around 50% of people who are still wearing them.

Of course, I imagine the virulent anti-maskers would read about that and bemoan how many sheeple are out there willing to give up their freedom in the name of fake safety. Then again, I still really fail to see how a face covering has somehow turned into this heinous barrier to freedom. Also, I for one am hoping that masking really takes root in our society. I think we’d all be healthier as a whole if more people would wear masks when they’re feeling under the weather, and if no one gave anyone the crusty eye for wearing one. If the flu’s going around in my area, I plan on putting a mask back on until it isn’t, and I’d love to have some sort of metric that’s posted that lets me easily know when the area’s in one of those high spread times.

I mean, I suppose people who want to be free to get sick should be free to do so, but I for one appreciate the freedom that comes with a healthy body. Just saying.

So am I wearing a mask right now?

I wasn’t yesterday. The community spread is low enough that it’s not something I’m really concerned about. However, I found out an hour ago that someone in Daniela’s class just tested positive for COVID, so I think I’ll probably wear one for the next bit, just out of courtesy to those around me. As I said, I expect that’ll be something that becomes more and more normalized for me: wearing or not wearing a mask, depending on the circumstances.

The biggest thing I’m happy about is that with the removal of the mask mandate, library staff no longer have to confront patrons for their masking habits. Those are some interactions I really won’t miss . . .


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