Wow, ever since COVID-19 hit last year, and became a worldwide pandemic, our new normal is mask up!
Everywhere you go, you must wear a mask. Often when sitting in my vehicle, I see a person about to enter an establishment only to do an about face back to their car to retrieve their mask. The new mandated rule is hard to get use to, but it’s our new normal and very necessary to keep everyone safe.
Wearing a mask in my case has been very challenging. Because of my disability, I have involuntary muscles movements in my face and for this reason, I’ve been having a time keeping it over my mouth. This is not the only time I have had this problem. Whenever I am trying to take a picture, my muscles start dancing as they do when I’m trying to talk with a mask on. Luckily, I’ve taught myself how to manage controlling my muscles in-order to take a good or at least, a decent picture over the years.
Another obstacle with this mask thing, people can’t seem to understand me when I have one on because of my speech impairment. I do rely on people reading my lips to help understand what I am saying. Now, that my mouth is covered up, it causes a bigger barrier. People just can’t understand what I am saying.
For these reasons I’m glad I was given the choice to work from home. Although I work with an amazing group of people, who are very helpful, I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable including myself.
I’ve tried several masks to help me conquer this problem. I’ve purchased gaiters, see-through, surgical, bedazzled, and even a hijab. I know the on-line stores love me because I’ve purchased many masks in the past months, yet none of them seem to be solving my problem completely.
Being independent means a great deal to me. I value anything I can do for myself big or small. Since COVID, my ability to move about independently has been halted because of the mask mandate rule. Now a days, I always need someone with me to either assist with putting on a mask or pulling one up. To makes matters worse, I hear the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are suggesting people wear two masks now. I’m having trouble just wearing one!
Although I’m frustrated with my mask issue, I’m not going to stop wearing them. They are keeping me, as well as others, safe. I know I’m probably not the only one with a disability dealing with this issue that’s why I wanted to share this topic. I’m hoping people will share recommendations of good durable mask options or tricks to make them stay up.
Masking up is part of our new normal and I don’t see it going away any time soon. I just want to make sure that this “new” normal doesn’t mess with the things I’ve learned. I have managed to make it over huge hurdles to create a life of independence for myself.
I will continue masking up and hopefully one day they will be accessible to accommodate my needs even if I have to create my own.