Yes, I still try to wear a facemask whenever I go to an indoor public space, whether it be the grocery store or the sportsbook. I even wear a mask most of the day at the office, unless the people in the desks closest to mine aren't in that day. I just don't want to get sick. I'm vaccinated for both the flue and COVID, and am up-to-date on my COVID boosters, so I'm not terribly concerned about getting severely sick. But I would just prefer not to be sick at all, if I can take reasonable precautions to avoid it.

Unfortunately, I haven't always been as strict about it as I probably should have been. I did catch COVID a few months ago. It was pretty mild. I had a pretty bad fever for a day, with my temperature almost getting up to 104 degrees. After the fever broke, I was coughing and sniffly for a week or so, but was able to function. I still kept myself in quarantine though, since I'm lucky enough to work at a company that allows remote work.

The cough lingered on and off for a few weeks, which made exercise a bit more difficult. But otherwise, I haven't had any lasting effects (that I'm aware of).

I am still wearing a face mask in indoor public places, and sometimes at home.

Ironically, I had just been in the pharmacy a couple weeks before getting COVID, and the pharmacist had asked if I wanted a booster. I didn't think they took walk-ins, but I was like "sure!". Unfortunately, I didn't have my vaccine card on my person at that time, so the pharmacist asked me to come back again later. I planned on going back later that week, but kept putting it off and didn't get around to it. Then I caught the damn thing and got sick.

If I had gotten that booster, and had been more consistent about wearing my mask, it is possible that I could have avoided getting sick at all. But I didn't, so now I've joined the ranks of the overwhelming majority who has caught COVID. Even so, I am now back to wearing a mask when I go out. Even though I'm unlikely to catch COVID again so soon, there are still regular colds and the flu floating around out there, and I don't want to catch those either.

Honestly, even after the COVID pandemic is finally over and COVID has settled into being little worse than a regular cold, I might still continue wearing a mask under certain conditions. I've actually found a lot more value to wearing a mask beyond just the prevention or mitigation of COVID.

First and foremost, quarantine and masks have proven effective at preventing the spread of regular cold and flu. So I'll probably continue to mask up during cold and flu season, whether there's an ongoing pandemic or not. I have a teenage daughter in middle school, and a toddler son who goes to daycare occasionally. Kids bring home bugs all the time. So I might still catch things from them, at home, no matter what I do. But might as well take precautions so as not to catch anything from strangers when I'm out and about.

The other big advantage that I've found to wearing a mask has been the mitigation of allergy symptoms. I suffer from seasonal allergies, and I know there is something in my neighborhood that is a major trigger for my allergies, but I just don't know what, specifically it is. Maybe it's mulberry; or maybe it's oleander. I'm not sure. Whatever it is, it can mess me up really bad. I've had to take time off of work in the past because my allergy attacks were almost as bad as having the flu.

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Last November, my girlfriend and I took a trip to Denmark and visited the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. That was a great trip, and the ship museum was pretty great, but there were a couple things that we wanted to do, but which we couldn't because the ship museum doesn't operate them in the winter. For one thing, the museum has a collection of reconstructed Viking ships, including a full-size longship. These ships are usually docked in the harbor, along with some living exhibits of the construction and maintenance of these ships and the ropes and sails used to sail them. During winter, the exhibits are closed and the ships themselves are brought onto land and covered in order to prevent ice from forming and damaging the ships.

More importantly, the museum offers tourists the opportunity to go out sailing the reconstructed ships with a couple of museum guides. This service is also only offered in the summer due to weather restrictions, and we decided that we wanted to go back to Denmark so that we could sail a Viking ship!

Big Ben
Big Ben was the first of several Civilization
world wonders that I'd get to see.

She found affordable tickets to London, and we allocated two weeks to spend in Europe this summer. My dad also expressed an interest, and we offered to take him with us and pay for part of his airfare and lodging expenses as a combined Father's Day and birthday gift (his birthday is in May). We ended up deciding to take him to London, England, to Coppenhagen, Denmark, and to Munich, Germany.

London, Stonehenge, and Shakespeare

Our first stop was London, England on June 26th. We did some of the usual tourist things, like visit the Tower of London and walk by Parliament and Big Ben (one of several Civilization wonders that I would be visiting during this trip!) and Westminster Abbey. We also had fish, chips, and beer in a pub and started two week's worth of gluttonous eating! Despite walking 15 to 20 miles per day, I still gained 3 1/2 pounds during the trip.

The British Parlaiment building was covered with scaffolding, apparently being repaired or remodeled. This would actually become a recurring theme during this trip, as many of the places that we visited would be covered with scaffolding.

We visited the Imperial War Museum, including the Churchill Warroom.
I tried on some World War I-era clothing, which was very uncomfortable and itchy.

The second day (Tuesday), we visited the Churchill Warroom and the Imperial War Museum. I had previously visited the Imperial War Museum in Manchester during my trip to the U.K., so this time we got to see the larger museum in London. I was a little bit disappointed that the museum didn't cover British Imperial history prior to World War I. There were no exhibits about colonial British sailing ships. The museum starts with World War I, and then goes through World War II, the Cold War, and the War on Terrorism. It also included an exhibit on the Holocaust, which was interesting because the exhibit started on the top floor, and then descended to the lower floor as the exhibits shifted from persecution of the Jews in Germany to the full-blown "final solution" period. It was a clever bit of symbolism to descend into the fullest horrors of the Holocaust.

On Wednesday, we did a day-trip with a tour company to Windsor Castle, the Roman bathhouse in Bath, and to Stonehenge (another Civ wonder!)...

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Welcome to Mega Bears Fan's blog, and thanks for visiting! This blog is mostly dedicated to game reviews, strategies, and analysis of my favorite games. I also talk about my other interests, like football, science and technology, movies, and so on. Feel free to read more about the blog.

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