Mask mandate lifted! ✅

The CDC announced last Friday that the mask is no longer required in most cases. Today at work, it was officially declared that we no longer have to wear masks (we are all required to be vaccinated.) I’m very excited and honestly quite emotional!

My job has always required some mask use, as I work in a lab, but we are free to go maskless in the break areas, walking through the lab halls, a good portion of the day!

Of course, the mask mandate was temporary lifted last summer for a short period of time before omicron. It may sound presumptuous, but I’m going to go ahead and say that the worst is over now. Or at the very least, we can celebrate this little victory.

Obviously I am not an anti-masker and I understand why it was required for so long. But to see that it is no longer necessary is very relieving. It was not only a minor annoyance, but a symbol — a constant reminder that we are living in a pandemic, the disconnection between humans, a cautious and fearful new way of living.

I have tried not to write too many posts about the pandemic, trying not to dwell on it too hard, although I have definitely shared some thoughts on it over the past two years. But I do think it’s important that we remain open and talk about how all of us have struggled through this. I do not want to hear anyone say “it didn’t affect me” — like “I never went out anyway, I was wearing masks to the grocery store for the past twenty years anyway, I was living in a hole for the past two years anyway.” Oh please, this has deeply affected ALL of us! So let’s be honest and open about it.

We all know someone, personally or at least mutually, who has passed away or hospitalized due to Covid. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of these people. This was an absolute devastation.

Many people lost their jobs. Many people found out that they sadly can earn more money through unemployment. Many people were forced to move out of their office and work from home. Kids had to switch to online schooling. Parents had to balance homeschooling with full time jobs. College kids were robbed of their college years, what’s supposed to be the experience of stepping out into the real world and making new friends. Recent grads began their new jobs with no idea what their co-workers faces looked like!

I was fortunate enough to have a job that allowed me security, as an essential worker I was still able to come into work every day, and did not have to stress about downsizing. Working in pharmaceuticals, the pandemic actually had the opposite affect, in that my workload was doubled because my company was overbooking studies out of fear of losing clients. The pandemic resulted in an extreme amount of overtime. But through it all, I always told myself I would rather have to work extra than not have a job at all.

My job was really the rock that was holding me down through this whole situation, so my heart goes out to those who’s jobs let people go or forced them to stay home. Not only the pandemic, I went through a major breakup, plus moving to a new home, a new town, and most especially changes with my Mom. It’s been an extremely intense past few years. My job has been the only consistent, repetitious, reliable thing in my life. It’s what keeps me sane through the constant changes of life.

I’m a little bit antisocial, but even so, I couldn’t imagine being forced to work at home every single day. Especially because I live alone (with my cats.) You don’t realize how thankful you are for the slightest amount of social interaction until you are forced into a worldwide quarantine. Through this pandemic, I learned that I’m actually not quite as antisocial as I thought!

But even when you’re around people, to see everyone covered in masks, it certainly brings a stronger sense of disconnection. To have conversations without seeing peoples expressions or being able to clearly hear their voice because it’s all muffled is rough. I’m a quiet girl and at least half of my conversation is through my facial expressions. It really makes you feel that much more disconnected.

The pandemic really brought so much uncertainly. Waking up every day and checking the Covid stats. Unsure if there would be a spike or a wane, if the trend would be consistent or not, if the CDC would make an announcement or not. Things are still uncertain, but I am feeling optimistic that the worst is over.

When you’re going through hardship, you do not realize how much you were struggling until you look back from a distance. I do believe that the worst is over.

10 responses to “Mask mandate lifted! ✅”

  1. Good to hear that things are improving over there! The Philippine capital where I am right now has also loosened restrictions one step closer to rescinding them. We’re still required to mask up, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congrats!!! Sending you good thoughts of continued improvement 🤞🤞

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! Hope things keep on improving over there too!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Are you a lab tech? I thought you did veterinary medicine. Do you enjoy working in the lab? I’m curious to know what your job entails (while keeping things confidential of course!)

    They are lifting masks here starting tomorrow. I still have to wear a mask at work (plus an eye shield) because I work at the hospital. I wish they would at lear get rid of the eye shield/googles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I take care of lab animals! Kind of controversial because some people are strongly against animal testing, but played a huge role in rolling out the Covid vax, as well as other medical treatments. I am mainly involved in taking care of the animals, keeping them clean and healthy.

      My sister works in a hospital (child life specialist) and has said she believes masks may be required forever. But I would hope that they would at least ease restrictions, especially when you are not around patients. Interesting about the eye shield. My job has always required goggles/glasses while in the lab, for safety reasons. I wonder though how that relates to Covid at your hospital 🤔 I’m glad that you have had job security, but I hope they can safely ease restrictions for you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your job sounds fascinating despite the controversy around animal testing. The animals are pampered because of your care! 🐇 I agree that employment has been abundant since the pandemic started. Had it not been for Covid-19, I would have really struggled finding a job, but I got 2 jobs straight out of university. I wasn’t even looking for 2 jobs but applied to both not expecting to get them, and ended up getting them LOL I used to be a contact tracer but no longer am, but I have kept the hospital job as a nurse. I am causal relief nurse and fill in for staff that call in sick or are on vacation leave. I have never had an issue getting enough shifts LOL

        That is a good question: For patients who are in isolation rooms, we also have to wear a gown which are annoying for sure, and sometimes we have to wear the N95 masks if they tested positive. Most days, it’s just a normal blue surgical mask and googles/eye shield. I don’t typically deal with Covid-19 patients unless we are swamped and the Covid-19 beds are full capacity.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you!!! ☺️ I do enjoy it very much, it is physically exhausting but I need that physical outlet due to all of my anxiety 😅 I think I would go crazy sitting all day at a desk job! And of course there are good days and bad days, overall it keeps me content. I like the repetitive nature, being active all day, and I’ve met some amazing people and fun memories through it all.

          Wow, being in the health field has been incredibly convenient during this crazy time, when it comes to finding and keeping a job. That sounds like a wonderful job, I’m sure it comes with its struggles, it also has a lot of purpose and you are making a difference in people’s lives. I can imagine they always need help!!! That’s great!!!

          Ohhh, okay! Interesting!!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Great article, and I’m glad that you no longer have to wear a mask. I think you summed it up beautifully about what we all went through the last 2 years. Here we still have to wear them too despite most people being vaccinated. I had my booster last week because I work in a nursing home and we still have to wear a mask, face shield and get rat tested (speaking of lab animals lol). I don’t understand why when we’re all vaccinated staff and most residents, even visitors have to be vaccinated. I guess this is because so many people died during the first outbreak and they’re trying to prove they’ve learnt their lesson.
    We’re also struggling to get good staff to work in aged care. The last year alone we have lost quite a few good experienced workers who basically left because they were so unhappy. Morale is low. Even my husband has been doing double shifts and lots of over time which helps us out because we need the money to finish renovations. He even told me today labour hire recruitment agencies are struggling to to fill jobs for forklift drivers. No one seems to want to work they rather live on welfare.
    It’s interesting that you work in a lab, how do you feel about this industry considering there are so many illness people are suffering from that scientists still haven’t found a cure for.
    And going back to covid restrictions, considering bloody Putin started this war why should we continue to wear masks and follow restrictions. My husband is so angry about it and would love to go to Ukraine to fight but we can’t so trying to talk him into donating to a charity there instead. So much more to say but this is already too long.

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    1. Thanks so much!!! I think that’s smart to get the booster! But that’s annoying that they are still requiring it where you are! If everyone is vaccinated and everyone has probably caught the virus at this point, I really don’t understand. I guess they want you to be extra careful at a nursing home. My mom lives in an assisted living facility and they are still forcing masks (only for the workers) even though they are all vaccinated and they are with the same people every day. I hope they can at least relax it more for everyone. But this is something that our whole world has faced trauma from and it’s going to take a while for us to heal even years afterwards. I say nothing beats as bad as it was in spring 2020, before the vaccine, back when Covid was basically a death sentence or hospitalization, now it’s seem to turn into a cold or flu.
      It’s crazy! A lot of people are unhappy with their jobs, it seems to be happening everywhere. Sadly you do make more money on welfare than minimum wage jobs. It’s really sad to see a lot of co workers come and go, it’s sad when I make friends with co workers just to see them leave a few months later. It’s very sad. I get it that work is hard and bosses often treat their employers unfairly, but work is work, you know, it’s supposed to challenge you and keep you stimulated. You leave one job and then go to another job and realize it’s the same exactly thing, it’s kind of just the way of life. I say what’s important about your work is not even necessarily what you do, but the people you do it with and see every day. In the grand scheme of things, I make a decent pay, I have good benefits, I’m lucky. There’s people who are homeless and starving and I’m very privileged in the grand scheme of things. It’s really hurtful to see the same people every day and get attached to them and then they just leave. But I think the pandemic progressed that in making people feel more lonely and disconnected and therefore less attached to those they work with.
      It feels good to work in an industry that helps sick people, for vaccines, for medicine, for disease research. We have had some very interesting studies. I do wish that biotech companies would research more natural medicine, as well as psychedelic medicine, which I think is a future possibility.
      Yes that is absolutely awful and heartbreaking. Really just completely sickening. The last thing we need is more war. War is never the answer. Absolutely crazy.

      Like

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