It has been over a year since the world cracked. We, yourselves, have changed.
The world feels emptier than I remember. You walk into a once teeming store with people laughing and talking, and it is now quiet. Few of the other shoppers make eye contact. Those shoppers are on a mission to get in and out of the store as fast as possible.
While waiting in line to check out your items, standing six feet apart, you can feel the bubbles around people that beg you not to talk to them. People do not hold open doors for others. If you need help or get stuck, you are on your own. If you do help someone, the look of surprise on their face breaks my heart.
What I have noticed in the last month while having to go out in public for various reasons is how tired everyone is. The people working in healthcare centers are tired of hearing how much you hate to wear a mask. They do not like wearing a face mask every day any more than you do. They had to figure out fast how not to fog-up their glasses for eight hours a day.
Healthcare workers, store employees, and public workers have taken the brunt of disgruntled, scared humans. It is a hell of a price to pay to keep your job. To be thankful, you still have a position where you go to work each day knowing someone will walk in and complain about wearing a face mask.
People in the United States of America, and maybe elsewhere in the world, argue that being told to wear a mask for your safety and those around you goes against our constitutional rights. We are free people and should be able to make our own decisions on what is essential.
When I was an infant in a car, I sat on my mother's lap. Once I became too big to sit on her lap, I was put in the back seat with no seat belt and left to play on my own while we drove.
Long trips driving down South for a golfing vacation, my brother and I played, slept, and fought in the backseat of a car with no seatbelt choking my neck. I survived thirty years of my life driving in a car without a seatbelt, as did many people my age and older.
When the government passed the mandatory seatbelt law, no one complained. Young and old just started wearing their seatbelts. The government told the United States of America's citizens that it was safer for them to wear a seatbelt, so they did.
We complied with the law because we wanted to save lives.
So I ask you: Why do you put on a seatbelt but do not wear a mask?
These are my thoughts from being out in public for the last month.
Help someone smile today. It can not hurt you.
All photos are mine unless otherwise stated.