We don’t wear masks anymore. We’ve all been vaccinated — thrice for COVID (each of us) plus flu vaccinations. For we oldies, the super duper senior flu shot and for Owen, the regular vaccine. I understand there are breakthroughs even for fully vaccinated people, but I’m tired of having my eyeglasses always misty from my breath. With asthma, not wearing a mask is a relief.

From Bizarro

A lot of people are surprised at our choice. Why aren’t we even more careful? After all, I’m heading for 75, Garry will turn 80 a month later, and right after that, Owen, “the kid,” will be 53.

Spring is birthday time: March (me), April (Garry), May (Owen). Unlike Christmas where gift-giving becomes an annual insanity. Christmas can unglue even normal folks. But birthdays — just one per year — we feel free to enjoy. You can buy one special gift and not worry about finding presents for everyone you know, including people you almost never see. People drive themselves into near bankruptcy buying stuff no one needs or even wants. Birthdays are unique.

We celebrate Christmas with food plus small (hopefully thoughtful) gifts. Christmas is more about “the gathering,” not an infusion of stuff. I did get a few extras this year because I found some huge savings on items I had wish-listed. A lens for Garry’s camera went from $499 to $199, a price too good to ignore. Coffee — the good stuff — dropped from $8 for a 12-ounce bag to $12 for three 16-ounce cans. My bonus? I love coffee cans. I don’t even know why, but I feel they have a purpose. I just need to figure out what this particular can should accomplish.

At 60 I was such a kid!

We are cautious about traveling. We’re done with airports, airplanes, and crowded venues. I never liked crowds anyway. I feel lost in crowds.

I’m not a germaphobe, but I’m convinced when you have more than a dozen people in a room, someone probably has a cold or the flu but doesn’t know it. Yet. Everyone will get sick. I don’t know how elementary school teachers survive a year of sniffling little ones.

Another birthday!

Given how careful we are, why don’t we wear masks? I suppose we think it’s time to behave normally, more or less. Could we catch something anyway? In theory yes, but we live in an uncrowded village. The largest crowds we encounter are in line at the grocery — and that’s a few people, well-spaced — and many of them are wearing masks. I appreciate their caution and that they don’t yell at me for not masking up. After all, what were all those vaccinations for if not to let us begin to live again?

I guess, looking at the world and the perils and horrors facing us, I am not sure I want to live to see how bad things will get. I don’t think there’s anything more we can do to make a better world. It isn’t for want of trying but as far as I can tell, the world is worse than it was when we were generationally sure we would fix it. I often think our most valuable contribution was turning denim into a fashion fabric.

Now, I want to enjoy the time we have. It would be nice to have more money. I’d love enough to get someone to come and clean the house, fix the broken pieces of it. We don’t have the funds.

We aren’t saving for rainy days. We are just living. For each other, for now, for the joy of it. I hope that’s enough.

Categories: #Photography, Anecdote, Coronavirus - Covid 19, Life, Vaccination

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20 replies

  1. I enjoy your blog writings.
    I met you years ago when you visited Tabusintac to speak to folks there. Your relatives, if I remember correctly. Taught music there in Tabusintac for 7 yrs, 14 yrs in Miramichi. I was Hartley at that time. The locals just called me The Music Lady lol lol. We still have to wear masks here but hubby and I are fully vaxxed and don’t even listen to the covid news updates anymore. So freeing. All the best to you.


  2. I had to wear one for the first-time last week. Naomi had to go to the hospital for an X Ray and I tagged along for moral support. I wore it for an hour, didn’t like it at all. We have been so lucky, living in this isolated area that we haven’t had to worry about wearing them. it is mandated that masks must be worn at public events of over 1,000 people. We don’t really go to events any more. I would have had to wear one if I still went to the cricket but I haven’t been for several years. I don’t know that I would if it meant wearing a mask all day.
    In two weeks, Tasmania will open the borders to all other states including ones where there is still a lot of Covid. We have been told that there will be cases after that happens and we have to get used to it. It may mean mask wearing becomes compulsory in more venues. I hope not. It seems a bit unfair that having kept it out of the state so long and getting the majority of the population vaccinated we would be more restricted than we were before.
    Of course, if it happens there won’t be anything we can do about it.


  3. Nobody likes them or wants to wear one.
    I wear one for the ‘common good’.
    It’s no fun, but until it’s proven empirically that they don’t help, I comply.


    • If I had a cold, I’d wear one — but as for COVID, we aren’t carrying it and have never been near anyone who was. If we lived in Boston, I’d probably be singing a different song. Out here, it’s just not crowded almost ever. Anything the town did that was crowded was suspended and not renewed. Yet. Maybe at some point in the future, we’ll have parades and gathering, but now? We’re home with the family.


    • They do help with colds and coughs even if they are NOT COVID. For the year and a half we were masked and mostly housebound, NO ONE GOT SICK. Not even a cold. That IS what masks do. Do they prevent COVID per se? I really don’t know, but they do prevent the spreading of germs from sneezing and coughing people — for which I’m grateful. I think all germy children should be masked on principal!


  4. I wear a mask on public transport (it’s mandated in London) and in busy shops, but I’ve stopped wearing one everywhere I go – I judge it on a case by case basis. But when we were in Spain recently we had to wear them everywhere indoors – public areas of our hotel, restaurants until seated, the cathedral and other sights. And of course on the plane! I’m not keen on them but I’ll wear one if it means I can have a more normal life 🙂


    • We simply don’t go anywhere that’s crowded. This is a small town — and getting smaller every year. They have cancelled gatherings like the Christmas and Thanksgiving parades. No fireworks. No Winter or Autumn festivals. Maybe they will be back someday. Meanwhile, we don’t travel. The ONE time we were in Boston, we masked and when we are in the hospital or doctor’s office, we wear them. Otherwise? We aren’t going anywhere anyway.


  5. I’ve also had 3 covid vaxes, the flu shot, the 2 pneumonia shots, and the 2 shingles jabs. And I mostly don’t wear a mask now either, except in crowded indoor places. I find masks horribly annoying on my ears, my glasses fog and slip down, and they’re hot, plus I feel relatively safe now with all these vaccines. Happy Thanksgiving!


    • Pretty much how I feel. I’ve gotten more shots this year than I can remember since I was a child starting school. And in this small town? Crowds? Where? At some point, we have to decide to be alive again. I did shingle about five years ago and I think it’s good for 10 years. We also have pneumonia vaccines, but there are so many kinds of pneumonia, the vaccine only works for a dozen or so. Luckily, not getting the flu also means I haven’t gotten pneumonia. Fingers cross. Happy Thanksgiving!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I still have to wear a mask in the stores, otherwise I don’t go places where I need one by Covid law. I will be getting my third covid jab at the beginning of December and if Mr, Swiss is then out of hospital he willl also get his. As far as Christmas is concerned, my only contribution is to eat something good but no more gifts. It seems to me that Christmas has become a pure commercial business occasion. Getting old is not funny


    • No, getting old is anything BUT fun. I hope Mr. Swiss is okay or will be soon!

      We got our third shots early, Garry by virtue of age (nearly 80) and me with heart issues and asthma. Owen, because he lives with US. And the flu vaccine which this year, they actually had — last year they ran out. I’m finding I’m tired these days. My good days aren’t much better than any other day, though the bad ones are worse.

      Living forever does not sound like a really great idea anymore, not if you age while you do it. Can you imagine aging and aging and aging and getting to 120? Ye gads, that would be NO fun at all!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am not an anti-mask person myself, but these days I don’t wear a mask outside all the time. I’ve been vaccinated, as have my loved ones. I carry my mask with me all the time though, I wear it when I have to interact with someone, otherwise, I am happy being unmasked. But all that is moot considering I live in India and 70% of the people (which could account to more than the entire population of many countries) don’t mask up.


    • I’m not anti mask either — and I wore one for a year and a half, even though I could never see out of my glasses and when the pollen was bad, I could barely breathe especially wearing a mask. Now, having been vaccinated three times plus the super senior flu vaccine, I figure those shots ought to be good for something. Anyway, I’m not convinced I really want to live forever. Forever is looking like a bad scene these days. Sad, but true.

      Even when masks were mandatory, a lot of people in this country refused. Not as much here, but there were some. We don’t go anywhere anyway so most of the time, it’s a moot point.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Marilyn, I think in your circumstances, the decision not to wear masks is fine. My boys wear masks to school and Terence and I wear them to the office. We don’t go out much and don’t wear them among family who are all careful. Only 30% of South Africans are vaccinated so I will continue to wear a mask when I make the odd journey out into the greater world. I enjoyed your birthday pictures. Have a happy Thanksgiving.


    • Thanks. There’s a lot of cooking going on, though not huge amounts because it’s just four of us this year. I’m working at making enough food, but no long cooking as if everyone needed four portions. Given the state of the world, I feel bad throwing food away, so we cook less. We still have more than we need.

      I think kids are still required to wear masks in school in Massachusetts. Each state makes it own laws about it and the safest states who need the laws least always have the strongest laws. In Massachusetts, more than 90% of the adult population are vaccinated, but kids are the ultimate germ carriers. Parents send kids to school when they know they are sick because they can’t afford to take time off from work to care for their sick children. There’s something so wrong with that scenario, you know? There’s something so wrong about almost everything these days.

      I think I’ll go put the bread pudding up to bake. I might skip dinner and just chow down on Paul Prudhomme’s killer bread pudding!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The bread pudding sounds lovely, Marilyn. You are right about the state of the world, and the wrongness of a system that requires mothers to work and take sick children to school. I see this in South Africa too and it is awful all around. I have never done it, I’ve always worked from home when my children were/are sick. I took 9 days leave this year when my dad was very ill and needed care and also when Michael was ill. I get 20 leave days a year though due to my seniority in the firm. IN the USA, I believe you only get 10 days which isn’t much at all.


  9. You look very happy at 60,
    And lovely in red at 75.🌹❤



    • I still had my own breasts and my heart beat on its own. Who knew what the next decade would bring? I think the years from my mid sixties to around 70 were just one near death experience after another. For the past few years, all has been pretty quiet and I hope it stays that way. I’m too tired to get very sick. Well, that’s not true. I’m not too tired to get sick. I’m too tired to recover.

      Liked by 1 person

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