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A Step In The Right Direction. Thank you Greg Gianforte!

Ha! If you’re still reading after my last post, welcome back! There’s a new kind of crazy in town, no more pussyfooting around on the topics I feel, need more awareness… the difficult issues needing our attention. I always hear people saying, “You need to be careful about what you say these days”. And it’s true. Every little thing is offensive to someone. Are we really a free country? What does freedom of speech mean to you? I got a message this week from someone who read my last post. It was so encouraging, because I really had to ease myself into putting that post out there. Thank you for that.

So today, I want to just shout out a big THANK YOU to Governor Greg Gianforte for lifting the mask mandate. Although, it’s up to individual cities and businesses, at least it’s a step in the right direction, in my opinion. If you want to wear a mask, require masks, or if you choose not to cover your face, I respect you either way. I’m just going to say that it’s really nice to see people’s faces again and to see the relief in their smiles where masks are not required.

For a long time, I really was a “maskhole”. I didn’t go in many public places, and I’d walk into places without a mask and not put one on unless I was told. I can’t stand them… I can’t breathe, I get anxiety and if I wear one long enough, I have skin issues. The only time I’m half content with wearing one is when I have a zit, or I’ve slacked on personal maintenance and I haven’t naired my mustache. Haha! Hangers, food in your teeth and bad breath may also be great reasons to hide your face behind a mask. I have found that I can cut back on the make-up. Just another excuse to let myself go… Ugh! This can’t be the new normal…

We are coming up on a year, in March, when the pandemic hit and we were all quarantined. The world went insane stocking up on all the toilet paper and clearing out grocery stores. Real estate went wild in Montana. Every vacation rental was rented out for months. Out-of-staters, escaping the nutso were and still are buying up the market. Can you blame them? It’s become the wild west!

Everyone has their own opinions about masks and much of it has been anger and hostility. Businesses suffered the brunt of it with patrons acting out as if it were the owners and employee’s fault. They didn’t want to wear masks either! And all the people turning businesses in to the state for not following the mandate… Who are these rotten turds who had nothing better to do than meddle in people’s lively hoods? My thought is that if you don’t agree with what a business is doing you just don’t support them. Pretty simple concept!

Since my kids were all home for five months, I decided to take on a second job waitressing and the summer months were brutal with the mask opinions. I remember a woman from Oregon and her family had come into the restaurant and noticed that one of the employees walking through had her mask pulled down. She began complaining about how many Montanan’s were not wearing masks. I wanted to say, “You’re the one’s taking a vacation during a pandemic and it’s people traveling through who have brought the damn COVID here in the first place!”

I’ve since had a change of heart and a respectful understanding of every individual choice to wear a mask or not. At first it didn’t seem real, but now, we all have had COVID or know someone who has had it. People who, I have known personally have passed away from the uniquely devastating disease. It now controls our lives. In the last year I’ve seen my dad three times and he only lives forty minutes away. He was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer… and it has only made me more aware of spreading the disease to him and those most vulnerable. It has also made me feel a stronger need to make a choice… live the life God blessed me with or hide in fear and miss out on time I’ve been given with loved ones and memories to be remembered beyond. We are not here forever.

I cringe when I hear people say that this is the new normal. We live in a state with the cleanest air to breathe. We don’t live in China! We were not created to breathe within a face covering, and COVID is here to stay. I feel it’s a personal preference, and it’s our own choice on how we adapt, not the governments. We live in the wild west! Mask or no mask. There’s a reason people want to relocate to Montana. I refuse to accept this as “the new normal”.

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