Surreal Unmasking · 26 March 2022

While unmasking might be the ultimate game show gimmick, it can surely be surreal in real life.

The state of Washington (along with most of the country) recently made masks voluntary. People do not need to wear masks if they so choose. And I appreciate and respect people whether they choose to unmask or to stay masked. Or whether they let the situation dictate their face coverings.

Choosing to unmask or stay masked is not the surreal part.

The surreal part of the whole unmasking thing was that first day back at school with the mandate lifted. I felt like I was missing something. And I knew exactly what it was. My mask. So I went down to the vice-principal’s office and made sure it was okay to be unmasked. He said it was. Phew.

Even though I had it confirmed that it is okay to go unmasked, I still had to stop and think about it every time I left my fortress of solitude (my room). Over a week later, I am still wondering if I am supposed to put on my mask. Then, I realize that it is not even in my pocket anymore.

I know exactly why I have this mental burden about masks. Masks have been part of our lives and culture for two years. Go out in public, put on a mask. Period. There was a short period of time when this was not the case, but it was very short. And so masking up is still going to be part of my thought process for a time.

It is interesting that two years of doing something that was unnatural made it natural. Which is an interesting thing about human nature and habits. We are resistant to change. I know. Nothing new. But it is interesting that whether we decide to start a new habit or are forced into a new routine, we resist changing from the old routine. And if that new routine is done long enough, we resist changing from what was the new routine when it becomes the old routine. I know. That is a lot of routines.

But that is the point. People do not like change. At least not many people. I am sure there are those who do like change. Those who embrace change. Or maybe not. Maybe those people are just big fat liars. Or maybe they really do like change. I do not know. (Phew. That is a lot of maybes and not knowing. Ah well.)

What I do know is that I do not like change. Even change for the good. I resist it. I fight against it. Or at the very least, I think it is surreal. After doing something for two long years, I ought to embrace the change, but my mind is somehow resisting it. That too is surreal.

Well, I hope your transition to unmasking is smoother than mine. Like I said in the beginning, unmasking might be a great game show gimmick, but in real life, unmasking has been surreal.

© 2022 Michael T. Miyoshi

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