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I need one of those T-shirts that say “I Can’t Breathe!” I assume they’re referring to masks because every time I wear one I gasp for air. The other day I put one on before going into a store and was so frazzled that I dropped my wallet. Then I dropped it again. And again. Then one more time. The mask not only hinders my air intake, it clouds my brain and impairs my vision. I’m learning that it helps if I don’t pull it up over my eyes. Even then, it throws me off balance. I’ve tripped and fallen flat on my face a couple times. I think wearing the mask is just as dangerous to older people as The Covid.

Today I went into a store with my 15-year-old grandson, both of us sporting fashion masks.

Ew, I told him, I can’t stand to breathe my own breath.

He laughed and said I shoulda used more mouthwash. That gave me an idea. They had a sanitizing station at the front door, so I went back and slathered some on the inside of my mask. Yeah, I'm a genius. Big mistake. The fumes overpowered me and I began to cough. I mean really really hack. Everyone gave me the stink-eye and fled in all directions. I could have passed out cold and nobody would have given me a hand. Note to self: Only use Sani on your hands. And carry breath mints.

When I found my grandson I asked if he wanted to trade masks. “How about I just give you mine and I’ll wait outside?” he suggested. He’s the genius.

It might sound racist, because everything these days is, but everyone looks alike in a mask. You can wear different colors or styles but a masque by any other name smells just as nasty.

Let me just say, in case you haven’t yet understood, I emphatically hate masks. I’m not convinced they make much of a positive difference. Still, I wear one because I’m more afraid of the Mask Police i.e. busybodies, than I am of the virus.

Between masks and plexiglass, I seriously don’t understand a word anyone is speaking. Huh? What? Say again? Blaabla-bla blah? Got that? Argh!

Wearing a mask makes me feel like Helen Keller with a plastic bag over my head. Blind, deaf, and claustrophobic. She really was a genius.

Speaking of smart, how the heck are kids supposed to learn anything if they have to wear masks to school? Maybe they should first teach them sign language. Wearing masks all day can’t be physically or emotionally healthy. It makes me furious to think that our kids are being used as political pawns. The science is clear—it’s much riskier to keep them out of school—which opens up a whole ‘nother can of worms. It’s a conversation nobody seems to understand through their masks and plastic bags over their heads.

I’ve resigned myself to this new and hopefully temporary masked culture. I’ve resorted to going out only when I absolutely must. And only when I don’t need to breathe, speak or think.