WTF with the masks?

I’m so annoyed by the back and forth about whether or not to wear a mask. Fist it was ‘Don’t use masks because healthcare workers need them. You don’t need them unless you yourself are sick or coughing, and in fact you may be worse off wearing one.’ Then yesterday the news seemed to be saying everyone should be wearing masks. Today on CNN there is a headline that says the WHO stands by their statement that you don’t need a mask unless you are sick. God, I wish we just had a consensus on this. I have been planning a grocery trip and I feel like if I don’t have one everyone will give me the stink eye and treat me like a leper. I do not have a mask, or a bandanna. But tonight I saw a meme o the internet about fashioning a mask out of an old bra (the cup totally resembles the same shape, and the straps are kind of perfect for using to attach the mask to your ears) and I was like, “well, shit, that’s not a terrible idea even though they seem to be making a joke about it.”. I do not want to wear a mask, and I particularly don’t want to waltz around the grocery store wearing a repurposed bra on my face, but what the hell.

I feel like I am getting phantom symptoms now. I woke up with a slightly sore throat and then mid-day I could swear I had a heart palpitation or something like that. I do on occasion get sore throats though, so that isn’t unusual, and anxiety causes changes in breathing to me. Just last week my mom and I were talking about this kind of thing. It’s kind of like if you get a mosquito bite once, you suddenly keep swatting at yourself and are convinced one is or has landed on you, sucking your blood, even though that isn’t the case. I didn’t go to the grocery store as planned today over it though. Well, and also I haven’t sewn my bra-mask.

The streets seem a lot emptier tonight. I think maybe the people not taking this seriously are starting to see firsthand the devastation. I hope they are, anyhow. Also, the city is going to start handing out $500.00 fines for people not distancing, so there is that. But I doubt people would pay that much mind. It’s just getting impossible to ignore now, even for the most oblivious folks.

I saw a guy in the bodega the other day wearing a mask and he was waiting for the guy to get him something and he rested his head on the counter. I mentally freaked out. ‘why is he doing that?! Is he physically exhausted? Is he sick? Is that why he has the mask on?’ It’s really bizarre to be living in this state of mild but ongoing fear.

I do feel better mentally than I did yesterday though. Yesterday I was just run down from it all. The same thing happens when I go on vacations to weird places, there is usually a day where there is just so much information overload and change that my brain kind of shuts down.

Today I actually woke up wanting to do work related things, which was weird. My Monday boss is secreted away in the Hamptons and there is nothing I can really do for him, so I just did some stuff for the other boss. He sent me a link to the paid family leave act for covid 19 and asked me to translate what it said. So basically he was having me investigate how to get myself a leave of absence of sorts. And it sounds pretty reasonable. Just kind of funny.

I have been having lots of anxiety dreams, which is unusual for me. I am really surprised at how much this is affecting me. Which sounds totally stupid and lame considering there are people out there working in hospitals and grocery stores and FDNY etc. who are under such incredible stress I can’t even imagine, and here I am in my living room acting like I am somehow debilitated by it. But still, as I write this, my friend, who has it a lot worse off than myself in that she has a family with her to be worried about, just texted me and said it best with ” I am just tired and worried, and tired of being worried.”

Update: I was thinking about which bra I wanted to destroy and sitting right in front of me was this one I recently got on clearance. It’s a super expensive bra, weirdly, but I got it for 85% off, and it must have been because it is the most uncomfortable thing on earth. In honor of Tiger King, I will be donning this tomorrow, in mask form:

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