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Living the Vintage Years

I felt like the woman in the Bible parable of Luke, who had lost a coin and rejoiced when she found it.

My loss was not a coin, but a mask.

I realize a single coin and a cloth mask may sound insignificant to most people, but, like the coin seeker who had nine other coins, I was desperate to find this one mask, even though I have others.

My special mask, yellow and brown with tiny butterflies on it, was a gift made by my late husband’s daughter shortly after her dad had passed away last year.

So I was upset when I realized, late at night after a fruitless search, the mask must have fallen to the sidewalk when I removed it after leaving the downtown Allentown post office, which I had walked to that afternoon.

I remembered the mask had gotten tangled in my sunglasses and hat and probably was dropped while I untangled everything before the long walk home.

Not at all hopeful, I jumped in the car the next morning and headed back to the post office.

I did not see the mask on the sidewalk.

Probably someone had thrown it in the nearby trash receptacle, I assumed.

As I headed to the car, I spotted my mask resting on a low concrete wall outside the post office.

What are the chances?

Some kind soul had found it and probably thought it looked too pretty to have been discarded deliberately.

I was elated.

Grabbing the mask, I waved it in the air and shouted, “Thank you, God.”

Anyone in the vicinity probably concluded I was a lunatic or a drunk.

I think of my lost-and-found mask often when I hear reports of folks burning masks or fighting mask mandates.

Why people would object to wearing a simple piece of fabric that can help protect them and others from a deadly disease is way beyond my comprehension.

Even though I have been fully vaccinated for half a year, I have continued to mask up before going into any public establishment.

I see quite a few other individuals at the grocery store doing the same.

Unfortunately, I also have observed some unvaccinated persons defy notices posted on building entrances, requiring masks for anyone not vaccinated.

Several people I know of openly admit to deception. Some even brag about it.

If such folks put only themselves in harm’s way, I would be less appalled by their irrational decision to refuse the vaccine and the mask.

But they are exposing others to severe illness and death.

Their freedom of choice stops at my nose. No one has the fundamental right to be a bearer of a deadly disease.

Strangely, many of the anti-vaxers who tout their right to make their own healthcare decisions for their bodies are the same people trying to deny women the right to make decisions about their reproductive health.

How hypocritical.

In addition, those loudly opposing statewide shutdown of schools and businesses last year, insisting these institutions should be free to make their own decisions, now object to these same entities making their own decisions if they are requiring masks and/or vaccinations in order to enter their buildings.

What gives?

Thankfully, when the smallpox vaccination was required in the 1950s before kids my age started school, parents did not confuse health and politics. They were wiser.

No moms and dads 65 or 70 years ago refused to protect their children from deadly smallpox because the parents may have voted for Dewey instead of Truman!

And when the polio vaccine became available, parents were eager and grateful to put their kids in line for the shots to protect their loved ones from a horrible, crippling disease.

The public’s civil rights to health and life outweigh personal freedom when it comes to a highly-contagious, deadly threat, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

I agree.

Folks who refuse the vaccination and the mask are trampling the rights of all the rest of us when they leave their homes and mingle with the public.