For 14-months I have worn a mask everywhere I have been. Grocery shopping, going into a business or restaurant. Everywhere it was required I worn one. This past weekend, I went mask-free and felt both weird and free at the same time.

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First, let me start off by saying that I am fully vaccinated, if I wasn't I would wear my mask everywhere still. However, with the CDC announcing last week that filly vaccinated people could not be mask-free, I decided to do just that and it was weird and freeing. Weird because for over a year we've been told to wear a mask and now not wearing one is almost like not wearing a seat belt for me, just feels awkward on the other hand, it was so nice walking into the store not grabbing a mask, and being able to speak to people and not raise my voice like I was yelling so that they can hear me. 

To me, it's just another way we are moving forward to getting back to "normal," but I do say this plea. For those who wish to still wear a mask, that is their choice and if they choose to do that, please don't be mean. Just like we have a choice not to wear one (as long as you are fully vaccinated), they have the right to wear a mask. We are all in this together and it’s not our place to judge someone for either wearing or not wearing a mask. Be kind! 

For my family and I, when my girls are with me, I will be wearing a mask. They are too young to get vaccinated and if they have to wear one, then I will too. To keep them safe and healthy, and is there is a business that is requiring a mask, I will respect their wishes and wear one. Hopefully, when Illinois gets to phase 5 (which is happening on June 5) more and more businesses will go mask free for those who are vaccinated.

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