There’s a scene in the beginning of Bambi where spring comes and all the animals wake up from hibernation. There are lots of new babies, including Bambi himself.
I’ve been thinking about that scene a lot lately. Not just because it is spring and here in the south that means a riot of colors in the landscaping, but because with vaccination underway we are all coming out of our houses, blinking in the sunlight, for the first time in over a year.
It’s taken some readjusting. Even though I am fully vaccinated, I still wear a mask when I’m out in public because the vaccine is only like 95% effective, which means it is 5% ineffective, and I’m not taking those risks until enough people have been vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. I fear variants that are not afraid of Pfizer.
At least that’s what I tell myself. The truth is that I’ve gotten used to not having to control my face in public. No one can tell when my jaw drops or I mouth, “What the…?” when I’m wearing a mask. I kinda want to keep it that way. I also like the anonymity it gives me. Between my pandemic hair growth, large trifocals, and the mask, very little of my face is on display. People who know me well have failed to recognize me with that kind of cover up. As someone who prefers to observe, this sets me up well.
I take it one step further than most people. When I’m wandering around a place like a grocery store, I am usually wearing noise cancelling ear buds and listening to an audiobook as I choose between cantaloupes. All of the holes leading to my inner body that are usually exposed to the air – ears, mouth, nose — are covered up or plugged up. When I turn off the audiobook to interact with the cashier, I have that emerged-from-the-deep, blinking-in-the-sunlight feeling. It’s almost like I went somewhere else and came back with a cart full of random groceries. It feels like I’ve taken a nap.
When things were ‘normal,’ I couldn’t do that. I didn’t have a six-foot buffer. Of course, there were also people – people to make me laugh, people to give me interesting information, people to express that they really did care whether I lived or died and whether or not I did those things well. Not just people to irritate me. Those people still managed to get in even with all my shields.
So I’ll put down the top of my convertible, let the sunshine in, as well as all the people I missed in my isolation.
But you still won’t know what I’m whispering under my mask.
 Also a WHOLE lot of accompanying pollen. What is a group of pollen called? If it can be a Murder of Crows, I am going to refer to it as an Irritation of Pollen.
If you enjoyed this and want to read more like it, visit Lori at her website, www.loriduffwrites.com, on Twitter, or on Facebook. Her newest book, a Foreword INDIES Gold Medal award winner, “If You Did What I Asked In The First Place” is currently available by clicking here.