Photo courtesy Michael P Coleman

COVID CONVOS — With The Easing Of Mask Mandates, Is Anyone Else Feeling Like A Sneetch?

By Michael P Coleman

When I coined and launched “COVID Convos” over two years ago, I never thought that we’d still be talking and thinking about the coronavirus this summer.

Looking at traffic in and out of my local grocery story just now, I’m beginning to think that I’m one of the few who still is.

With COVID numbers up sharply over the last few weeks, I’m finding my-always-masked-when-inside-a-public-place-self feeling like one of Dr. Seuss’ Sneetches. Remember them? (Do kids still read Dr. Seuss anymore? Do kids still read anymore?) If you have or know a young kid, tell them to download The Sneetches on that iPad or iPhone that they probably shouldn’t have, yet.

First hitting the scene in 1961, a few years before I hit the scene, The Sneetches is a powerful parable about racial intolerance. I’m still very proud of the fact that I knew that even as a kid, and told my first grade teacher, Miss Alberta Neal, that very thing, thank you very much.

For the uninitiated or those too old to remember, The Sneetches detailed a group of human sized, birdlike beasts, some of whom had stars upon their bellies and felt superior to the star-less Sneetches. I won’t give the story away, but I will encourage you to revisit it or read it it for the first time. It’s a hoot, and a story that you won’t soon forget.

And I’m feeling like a Star Bellied Sneetch, lately, as I traverse around town with a mask on. I never wear one outside, and I’ve managed to briefly breathe maskless a couple of times inside a public space, when an establishment has very few people in it, when it has open windows and doors, or when I’m just going to be in and out.

But for the most part, I’ve got that mask on, still, when I’m at the deli. Or the grocery. Or the pharmacy. And that’s when I don’t or can’t have goods delivered to my home…which I’m also still doing. I may never walk into a physical Target store again.

Read freelance writer MPC’s take on the masked vs. the unmasked

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