The new masking etiquette (can I or can’t I?)

All right, blog readers, gather around. The recent announcement from the Centers for Disease Control about new mask requirements has been announced. Fully vaccinated people can attend outdoor events (and some indoor events) without requiring a mask. And some businesses, including Walmart, Trader Joe’s and Starbucks, are allowing their fully vaccinated employees to operate maskless.

So let’s talk about a little masking etiquette in this new time.

First off, if you have not been vaccinated, WEAR THE DAMN MASK. You still are not immune to COVID-19. Your attempt at setting a new chin-up record at Planet Fitness does not provide you with any sort of immunity.

Secondly, if you are vaccinated, get some sort of physical document that can prove your vaccination status. Your CDC card will work; you can also get an Excelsior Pass in New York State which can be downloaded to your phone. It’s on my phone, and if it can fully operate on a superior BlackBerry, it can certainly work on your inferior iPhone or Android unit.

Okay, let’s play along. You go to a business. The business has a “wear a mask” sign on the door. Do you go in maskless?

NO. PUT ON THE DAMN MASK. You don’t know if the store owner or the patrons have been vaccinated or not. And don’t be a Karen or a Tucker about demanding your rights to go maskless; businesses are private property, and they can tell you to take your stinky ass off their premises. You know, like the old sign, NO SHOES / NO SHIRT / NO SERVICE? Well, it’s the same concept.

Okay, but if you enter a business AND you don’t see a “wear a mask sign,” what do you do?

You could walk in, and say to the owner or the maitre d’ or the front desk, “Hi, I’ve been fully vaccinated. Are you okay if I enter your business without wearing a mask?” Then if they say yes, you don’t have to wear the mask. If they say no, then PUT ON THE DAMN MASK. At least at this point in time, you are showing respect for the business, and asking them ahead of time to get some approval. Don’t mistake the absence of a “wear a mask” sign as a green light to walk around bare-faced.

If you are asked later by the business to put on your mask, just do it. Don’t give the excuse of, “Well, Erin over there at the front desk said I could take it off,” because for all you know, Erin doesn’t have the authority to give that order. You might not have known it, but now Erin’s boss wants to confirm it for you.

Oh, and one other thing. Don’t be an asshole and say, “Oh, yeah, I’m vaccinated, I’m vaccinated,” and you’re not. I don’t care how healthy you think you are, I’ve seen COVID knock out pro wrestlers and football players. There might be a vaccine for COVID, but there’s no cure for COVID. Just like there’s no cure for stupidity. Don’t be stupid.

Because if a business asks you to prove you’re vaccinated – i.e., you want to go to a baseball game and sit in the “vaccinated” section, as opposed to getting shoehorned in the “unvaccinated” nosebleed seats – just show them your CDC card or call up the Excelsior Pass on your cell phone. Hell, you had no problem posting that CDC card on your social media platform, so showing off your pass shouldn’t be that big of a deal if you want to go to a sporting event.

Oh, and one other other thing. Don’t be a jackass and burst into a building (that requires masking up) and shout out, “Well, I will not comply with your stupid mask mandate, I only answer to God, not to you!” Let me tell you something. Wear the damn mask and stop acting like a shithead. I am telling you this. Trust me. I’m God. So help me me. Because all it takes is one patron with a working video recorder on her cell phone to record your little temper tantrum, and suddenly it’s up on the Internet and you have to explain to your boss why you lost your damn mind at the local Stewart’s.

We have to respect the changes in our lives. We are in a more positive place than we were at this time six months ago, or even last year.

Just do us a favor and please don’t be the navel-gazer that ruins it for everybody else.