Thursday, October 29


I stepped out of my old blue car today without my blue cloth facemask on.

the sheer normality of doing such a thing... that normality and all the long-ago memories that come with it all try (and fail) to drown out the thin jolt of not-quite-panic about almost forgetting. it's not quite panic. nothing to panic about. just a deadly contagious respiratory disease, potentially lurking about in the ghostly residue of everyone's breath.

the almost forgetting has only happened one other time. it's usually easy to attend to these rules. face coverings are required at all times on campus. face coverings are incessantly encouraged at the grocery store. and all other stores. 

I only neglected it momentarily, only twice, and nobody noticed, anyway. I just have to duck back into the car, snatch the mask from the dashboard, and wrangle it around my lower face before I walk through the sunny parking lot to shop or to teach, and it's fine.

it's fine. 

this is normal now-- masks all the time.

my primary mask is blue paisley print. I made a few for myself and Jeremiah out of an old spare pillowcase. his has elastic loops for the ears. mine has a stretchy string tie. 

maybe I should invest in some more fashionable mask options. maybe that would make it slightly more fun to wrap one around my face every time I venture out into any of the very few public places I ever go these days.

I can remove my face covering when I'm alone in my office (as I am in this photo showing off my new glasses), as long as the door is closed. 

on the rest of this quaint desert campus, I have not seen a single maskless soul since I was here in January for my job interview. 

...unless you count a student here or a student there who lets their ill-fitting mask droop a little. or a student here or there who is eating or drinking in class and removes their mask for a few minutes to do so. 

at the grocery store, most other shoppers wear masks too. the employees all do. all kinds of shapes and colors and designs. stripes. prints. slogans. solid-colored t-shirt fabric.

it would be creepier if they were government-issued, matching beige or navy or grey masks. if every face were obscured with the exact same shape and color of cloth.

wouldn't it be?

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