Going maskless feels unnatural

Mask mandate lift gives relief, uncomfort


Harris Keekley

After about a year in quarantine and having to wear a mask at all times, when I visited Wisconsin, one of many states that have lifted the mask mandate for vaccinated people, it felt really awkward.

All throughout the trip, I found myself grabbing my mask before rushing out the door even though I wouldn’t use it. Over quarantine, I had grown so accustomed to the mask that I would also leave my mask on even when I didn’t have to.

I also found myself judging those who didn’t wear a mask and feeling uncomfortable seeing employees maskless and having to constantly remind myself they are vaccinated and that I was also maskless.

Another odd thing about being maskless was how weird it felt to be in public without a mask. I felt like I was missing a key article of clothing and it felt similar to being shirtless. I would walk into a store and always feel as if I was missing something key.

I also found many people judging those with no masks on even though they were maskless. On a tour of Sprecher that I took with my family, a maskless woman came up to me and told me to put a mask on and after she realized she was also maskless, we both just laughed in a kind of relief that this pandemic is nearing the end.

Overall, it felt really awkward to be maskless in public regardless of the fact that I am fully vaccinated along with all of the other people who are maskless. I felt like I was constantly forgetting something and judging those who were maskless and wanting to avoid them like the plague.