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No Mas Masks

May 13, 2021

Huge.

Pretty much 14 months to the day after the mask mandates were issued, we are allowed to wander around without our masks — if we are vaccinated.

I actually cried as I heard the news (driving in my car across the causeway). It’s been a long effing road in a long effing year. Our lives changed. We’ve been living in caves, living narrow lives. We’ve lived with this low grade dread and uncertainty for so, so long. Thankfully, we knew things were moving in the right direction. The vaccine research and development was ahead of expectations. Vaccine roll-outs were quick and relatively effective. I’ve felt at moments a very real and palpable sense that there is, indeed, a light at the end of the tunnel. And, of course, I’ve felt fully liberated for a full two months, with Jim and me having passed the two-week-post-vaccine point in mid March! I underwent a second massive shoulder drop when Peter got his second vaccine and passed his two-weeks-post-vaccine milestone recently. My dearest, deepest loves: all safe.

But this mask news today felt so monumental and so official, and was such the liberating moment we’ve been waiting for. It opens even more doors and brings us closer to community normalcy. Country normalcy.

Not global normalcy, though. It’s devastating what some countries are going through right now. Just yesterday, I sent $400 to two Himalayan guide friends — Homnath and Pradip — because Nepal’s in a very bad way… on its way to India-bad… which is beyond desperate. And here we sit, all rich and privileged, and ripping our masks off so happily. Does not seem just at all.

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In other pretty damn great news: I had six pre-cancers frozen off my face today (thus my trip across the causeway). And she could find no other areas of concern after a full body scan. I just can’t tell ya. Skin cancer is my cross to bear (I expect). That’s the one that makes the most sense, given fair skin and years of intense, unprotected sun exposure, not to mentioned countless burns and peels. I mean… So every time I get the all clear, it feels major.

And, I’m just off the phone with Dr. Bingham, my new dentist, who had just landed on the East Coast, and first message that came in on her phone was a close up of my tongue. Yay me and great timing. I’m relieved to hear it’s not a scary thing… just a crazy canker sore thingie from a new rough edge on a tooth. Swish with warm salt water’s all she’s recommending. I have to say, this was also some great news, as the discomfort over the last 30 hours or so’s been immense (and annoying and scary).

Scratching a lot of body parts and other scary conditions off the concern list in the last few weeks: have passed numerous tests, logged some great numbers (reminded of mom who always said, “my numbers are good,”) and gotten the a-ok on everything (so far) from blood work, to a cardiac workup, to my last-ever PAP, a mammogram, an ultrasound to check out a few new bumps, a dental exam, and flu and pneumonia vaccines on top of the vaccine-of-the-century. After the year-long, pandemic-imposed doctor visit moratorium, it’s nice to check back in and be assured all’s reasonably well.. as one turns the corner on 65! Good lord. Next up: eye exam and my first-ever bone density scan.

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All in all, a good day in the health liberation category.

I don’t have a pic from today, so how about this cute photo of Mags that Alexis just posted on Instagram… it reflects my mood pretty well!!

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