The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Litchfield Mirror, LCTV, LCM, the Town of Litchfield or it’s elected officials.

First of all, wear them! I do most of the time when in public, most people I know do as well. That said, as someone who works in an industry that deals with the public often, there are times when I
don’t wear one and the conversation I had this morning prompted this writing.

Back in March, when all things normal went away and we had to adapt or perish it seemed I guess I was “lucky” when Governor Sununu deemed Realtors as essential and allowed to work with the
public under some guidelines for social distancing and of course wearing a mask. I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t like it and wasn’t sure it was even helpful toward preventing transmission of the virus
and possibly even detrimental to those who wore them. I really thought and maybe still do that our complex bodies and systems are designed to inhale good and exhale bad, I do wonder if not being able to consistently exhale is making some part of my system work harder than it’s designed to or just be inefficient at best. I don’t claim to be a biologist of a Dr. , I leave all that to Facebook and Twitter experts, but I do wonder.

So, back to today’s meeting. I am a seller’s agent for a new subdivision in Manchester, and it’s very busy there. I show the units to customers, clients and other agents and their customers often 3 times a day, and I always pull up to the site and notice the people I am meeting either waiting for me in their cars or standing outside admiring the construction site. The people are all different ages and appearance of health and I open my truck door and make eye contact while grabbing my branded face shield as I exit the vehicle.

I first say hello from a distance, probably at least 20 feet then I show my mask and notice they are either A) All wearing them B) some wearing completely and some half way C) some holding them in
their hands or D) some stuffed in a pocket. I’ve not noticed any other scenarios – but in every case I believe they are waiting for me to acknowledge the thing. At first I just put it on and began my
showing which includes a lot of talking and explaining and sharing of info and in July was not easy to do with my mouth and nose covered. Now, and this is finally getting the topic of this OpEd – I ask them “Would you prefer I wear the mask or are you ok if I don’t?” – 9 out of every 10 (and I have been tracking this) say “thank you, no mask is great.” Side note, no one still wants to shake hands at that point but we do often “fist bump” or do an “air shake”.

So, today this exact scenario happened – there was me, a 20 something agent and (2) 65+ women and they were thrilled to not have to wear the masks and thanked me for leaving the decision up to
them. Then, I said – you know, this is not a political statement at all but 90% of the people I see here opt to not wear the masks when I say that but I will always wear it if someone wants me to. One of the older women says “well I always wear it in the grocery store…..” so I said, “YES! Me too – but often I walk from the lot to the door and end up walking back to get my mask after initially forgetting it“ and we all laughed as that apparently doesn’t only happen to me haha. Now, all 3 of the women had something to say and it was typical of most people I come in contact with and it was essentially that we all want to be perceived as “good people” and do what is right and not make anyone uncomfortable and we all agreed that we are of that mindset and went through the showing seemingly unharmed as we also did keep our distances. Based on this microcosm of society, the sentiment here is that wearing your mask is good. Protect those who may be worried that you are carrying Covid-19 asymptomatically. Even if you think it violates your rights, making others uncomfortable around you is not good and has quickly become socially unacceptable. It’s really OK to cover your nose and mouth for the times you are in public places, even if it isn’t enforced, do it anyway.