This morning, I was at my computer when I received an email notification from our building management company. Throughout the pandemic, they have sent out notifications around mask mandates, expectations around common areas, and thoughts about the pandemic and pandemic living in general. It’s been nice to see that our management company has been proactive in sending out these updates, particularly since I know other people who also live in buildings overseen by a management company, and they really have not done anything to be proactive about keeping their residents safe during COVID-19. The latest update from management was that finally, after almost 2 years, the mask mandate in the building common areas would be removed to align with the mask mandate being removed across New York City. I honestly could not believe it when I read it: we have been wearing masks in common areas in this building on and off pretty much since April 2020. That is almost two years of never seeing anyone’s full face in our building. It is such a change and something that I really was not anticipating anytime soon… Not because the rates of Covid have been increasing because they have not in New York, but rather because wearing masks has been a new normal for us. I just expected that we would be wearing masks pretty much forever, particularly since there have constantly been new variants of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
When I went downstairs to chat with our building manager, it was almost like a revelation: both of us were talking in a building common area and seeing each other’s full faces. Neither of us was wearing a mask. We both commented on the fact that we could actually see both of our full faces for the very first time, since she started here during the pandemic, and how amazing and ridiculous it was all at the same time. I wonder how long this will last. It felt pretty good, but at the same time, it also felt a little bit scary… Because who the heck knows if not wearing a mask will make us more susceptible to getting this freaking virus?!