Need words of wisdom while still wearing a mask in public

Posted by brdross @brdross, Oct 25 2:11pm

I am looking for some advice about wearing a mask at social gatherings. We will be moving to an over 55 community and are excited to meet some new people and enjoy all of the activities they offer. We already went to their Club House opening and my husband and I were the only ones wearing a mask. I sensed a feeling of disgust and it seemed that everyone avoided us. We met with the foreman who is building our new home who saw our masks and responded "Whoa, you're not sick are you?" I need some advice on how to interact in these situations. Do I introduce myself and say, "no I'm not sick, I'm being cautious" or "I have a lung condition so it's best that I wear a mask". With everything that older people can catch these days, I'm really surprised that more elderly people don't wear a mask. Then, I wouldn't feel so alone.
You're feedback is appreciated.

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Hi, When I have to 'explain' myself to others when I get the 'look', I just say I have a non-communicable lung issue and my doctor advises that I wear a mask. It's too bad people are affected by whether or not a person wears a mask. Good luck and keep on keeping on. Right?

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Some people are just anti mask. And many of those are anti vaccine as well. It is unfortunate you got that reaction but I would just ignore it or if you have to explain yourself just say I have a chronic lung issue.

One thing I wonder about: I find it harder to breath with a mask. When we go into our local large grocery store I carry it but only put it on if I get near other people. We are able to easily shop without being near anyone the whole time. But I wonder if that is risky or not. We do self check out and even there people are more than 6 feet away.

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@irenea8

Some people are just anti mask. And many of those are anti vaccine as well. It is unfortunate you got that reaction but I would just ignore it or if you have to explain yourself just say I have a chronic lung issue.

One thing I wonder about: I find it harder to breath with a mask. When we go into our local large grocery store I carry it but only put it on if I get near other people. We are able to easily shop without being near anyone the whole time. But I wonder if that is risky or not. We do self check out and even there people are more than 6 feet away.

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Irene – The guide I use to decide when to mask is air volume & movement.

Think of this from a science perspective. The size of most grocery stores, with their high ceilings and wide aisles, as well as the need for air movement to carry away the heat from the refrigeration and freezer units, means the air exchange is usually very good. That means any particles in the air are very diluted and quickly whisked off into the ventilation systems. Thus, low density of problem particulates. For me, that means no mask.

On the other hand, the neighborhood dollar store is often built in a strip mall, with low ceilings and narrow aisles, and whatever ventilation the builder installed. And people must always pass/stand close to one another. That means any particles linger longer and closer to where we breathe. So, if I walk in and there are more than a few people, I mask.

Does that make sense to you?
Sue

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Wearing a mask, has cut down on the number of chest infections I get in a year. I have worn one for about 15 years. Before the dreaded chaos over masks hit the general population, I never had a single problem with it
But alas, now that masking is 'a thing', [in the past 3 years ] have I experienced 'the look'.
How do I think through this?…
1. If someone is rude; I say, no, I am not sick, I am protecting me from you !
2. When I get 'the look', I ask myself this… Will these individuals come and assist me during the long tough sick days which lie ahead…? Answer… not a chance! I walk on !!
3. How fortunate they are in having the blessing of good health…. too bad they do not have the opportunity to realise it… before it's too late!
4. Is it safe to not wear a mask in here?…… Hmmm, did the bugs get the memo?
5. My respirologist said "Wear your mask everytime you leave your house!" [and inside I have a medical level air filtration system.]
so…… I wear my mask! The people who care are supportive… the rest are not relevant !!

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I like your straight talk. These are words to live by! Thanks.

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@sueinmn

Irene – The guide I use to decide when to mask is air volume & movement.

Think of this from a science perspective. The size of most grocery stores, with their high ceilings and wide aisles, as well as the need for air movement to carry away the heat from the refrigeration and freezer units, means the air exchange is usually very good. That means any particles in the air are very diluted and quickly whisked off into the ventilation systems. Thus, low density of problem particulates. For me, that means no mask.

On the other hand, the neighborhood dollar store is often built in a strip mall, with low ceilings and narrow aisles, and whatever ventilation the builder installed. And people must always pass/stand close to one another. That means any particles linger longer and closer to where we breathe. So, if I walk in and there are more than a few people, I mask.

Does that make sense to you?
Sue

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Makes total sense and this helps. Thank you. What a good brain you have!

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It's so interesting how we seem to receive different ideas/information about wearing a mask…and that we care at all what others think. What you think about me is not my business. I'm taking care of me … and my husband who would be my caregiver if I were to become ill from Covid.
My pulmonologist believes that I'm at risk anywhere but outside. Even if I'm in a well-ventilated area and the person ten feet in front of me has just sneezed, it's not likely those particles have completely cleared the area. So I'll continue getting the "looks" and try as best I can not to let someone else's judgment of me affect my own good judgment about my healthcare.

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@busybeans

It's so interesting how we seem to receive different ideas/information about wearing a mask…and that we care at all what others think. What you think about me is not my business. I'm taking care of me … and my husband who would be my caregiver if I were to become ill from Covid.
My pulmonologist believes that I'm at risk anywhere but outside. Even if I'm in a well-ventilated area and the person ten feet in front of me has just sneezed, it's not likely those particles have completely cleared the area. So I'll continue getting the "looks" and try as best I can not to let someone else's judgment of me affect my own good judgment about my healthcare.

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I agree. I don't care who looks at me funny. I use pick up delivery at super markets. I go in only doctors offices and then fully masked. I don't trust indoor air anywhere. I only get take out food from favorite restaurants. I don't care if the other patients and the dr are not masked. I consider it up to me to protect myself. I can't take the new covid vax because I just got over myocarditis recently. I will not go into any closed space without an N95. It is what it is. I socialize outside with friends. My life is fine as it is and I'm not complaining.

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I wonder if it matters what type of mask? I remember when Covid first came out there were saying it did. Does anyone know?

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Not cloth masks. They have shown to be very ineffective. Best masks are N95 or KN95. Disposable/surgical type masks fall in between.

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