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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.

When wearing a mask during the pandemic, however, I noticed that I didn't have problems with allergies nearly as much. Then, when I started wearing the masks less often outside, the allergies came back strong.

I'm not sure what specific plant(s) cause my allergies.

I would always wear masks whenever I would try doing yard work and stuff like that. That would limit the amount of dirt and pollen that I inhale while blowing leaves or trimming plants. But now I'll probably also just wear a mask whenever I go outside for anything during the major pollination seasons in the spring and fall. If wearing a mask during the worst pollination weeks doesn't help to dramatically mitigate my allergy symptoms, I might consider getting an allergy shot next year. Hopefully it doesn't come to that.

And lastly, I also get occasional cold sores. I've had a few breakouts in the past year and half since my son was born. Babies are very grabby, and it was difficult to keep Julian's hands away from my face. I didn't want him touching a sore, then putting his finger in his mouth or rubbing his eye, and giving himself herpes for the rest of his life. Having the ol' COVID masks around allows me to put one on whenever I handle the baby during a cold sore episode. That way, I can be reasonably comfortable holding and handling the baby without being paranoid that he'll touch my face.

In the end, one of my personal take-aways from the COVID pandemic is that wearing a facemask is actually really helpful at preventing me from getting sick. Now that we have a large supply of masks, I'll keep wearing them.

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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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