Dreaming of a mask

The Examiner

I’ve never been one to think I could be hypnotized or brainwashed, but a part of me feels as though I have been. It’s even happening to the grandkids. One of the 8-year-old boys’ told me he hoped the Easter Bunny would bring him more hand sanitizer because he’s almost out.

Sandy Turner

In just a matter of a year I’ve become paranoid to be around people who don’t have a mask on and Katie bar the doors if someone, other than grandchildren, tries to give me a hug. I’m now involuntarily turning my face away from other people while standing in line and automatically reach for hand sanitizer as soon as I get in my car.

I have face masks stuffed everywhere, from my purse, to my jackets, in the glovebox and extra packages in the pantry, just in case. At least I’m not hoarding toilet paper anymore, although I check the stores’ inventory often, to be on the safe side.

It’s hard to visualize a day when I will feel comfortable sitting in a small space with lots of people I don’t know. I’m dreaming about it now. Being in a hall of some sort, elbow to elbow, waiting for some event to start and no one has a mask on. I can feel an anxiety attack coming on as I check all of my pockets and can’t find my mask when I realize I left it at home. Isn’t that what brainwashing is all about? Convincing people to do something they don’t want to do.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t be wearing masks. Quite the opposite. I think it’s a crucial part of getting past this pandemic. I just wish it wasn’t at the point it is now, when I see someone walk in a store, without a mask, I’m taken aback as if they were streaking down the aisles.

I’m always the glass-half-full person, so why am I waiting for the next shoe to drop? Will the COVID variants catch up to the vaccines so they’re no longer effective? What if the vaccine only protects people for six months? Will there ever be a day we can say we’re “back to normal?” What is normal now?

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse they start picking on Dr. Seuss. What’s next, Mr. Rogers? I realize this doesn’t have anything to do with masks, or COVID, but I decided to throw it out there since I’m on a roll.

I feel like they’re (and who that is exactly, I’m not sure) trying to convince us to stay at home, shop from home, eat at home, don’t celebrate, shake hands, shout, laugh and for goodness sakes, don’t ever cough in public.

I apologize for the ranting and raving this week. The straw broke the camel's back after spending 10 minutes trying to get the cellophane bag open in the produce department and I couldn’t lick my fingers to get the job done.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at sandydownhome@hotmail.com.