Many parts of the world are gradually lifting mask-wearing mandates in public spaces as the pandemic inches closer to the end.
Yet, not everybody is ready to ditch their N95s.
Some people are immunocompromised, and there are rising cases of COVID infections in certain parts of the world from newly discovered variants–which is enough of a reason for people to still cover up to protect themselves and from infecting others.
Curious to hear from strangers online, Redditor -Omegamart- asked:
"Are you still wearing a mask in public? Why or why not?"
Wearing masks has become convenient for reasons you would totally expect.
The Perfect Cover UP
"I wear one to school because I have a nose ring and we're not allowed to have nose rings lol."
For The Insecure
"Without a mask I'm just ugly. With a mask I'm mysterious."
Grants Personal Space
"I have an average face, but terrifying/alluring serial killer eyes.... The mask gets me my own personal space without effort."
"The wife says I have the dead eyes of a shark..."
Joy Of Anonymity
"Went into a restaurant for pick up a few weeks ago. Saw a couple of people I knew but didn't want to talk to. I was wearing a hat, glasses and a mask. They didn't recognize me at all. Easy to avoid them."
Still Under Construction
"I am going through getting dental bridges so its a nice way to hide half-broken teeth."
These people wear masks for the reason why the mandate was instituted in the first place.
"Yes. My wife is immunocompromised as she is a transplant patient so I don't want to pass anything on to her."
Out Of Respect
"My youngest is a PTA. So many of her very young patients had Covid. She herself had RSV when she was three months old and was hospitalized. We still wear mask in public because of those that couldn't survive this virus that hasn't gone away."
It's Still Risky
"I wear a mask because I interact with a lot of people every day and I don't know which ones are immunocompromised and do not want to take the risk of getting them sick."
"Why does that anger some people?"
It's Been Proven Effective
"I'm the type of guy that gets bad colds every summer and winter. I haven't had one in over two years since wearing a mask."
"Also a fair number of my neighbours are high-risk; even if I don't come down with 'it' (even if I'm all jabbed and boosted), I'd rather not pass 'it' on to them."
"I stopped for a while. I got Covid this week. I am triple vaxxed and healthy and it knocked me on my a**. I’m masking from now on for two reasons."
- "I want to avoid getting Covid again, it sucked."
- "if it was that bad for me, I can’t imagine what it would be like for people more physically vulnerable. I want to reduce the spread to lower the risk for everyone."
Still In A Pandemic
"I wear one in public because covid isn't gone, people are still catching it, people see still dying or having to live with long covid and I fall into a vulnerable category. I don't trust others to do the right thing (isolate if positive) so I look after myself."
It's Second Nature
"It's become a habit (I often put it on when I'm outside)."
"I work at a fast food restaurant."
"People won't talk to me as often."
With the TSA announcing they have gotten rid of the mask requirement on air travel, I'm still be wearing a mask.
I'm vaccinated, boosted, and I don't have an underlying medical condition that makes me vulnerable to infection, but wearing a mask on planes gives me a peace of mind somehow.
I've also gotten so used to wearing them as I've flown a lot, cautiously, during the pandemic, that boarding a plane without one would somehow make me feel naked.
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*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
There are those who say that going through a hard or unpleasant experience is what makes you stronger, and able to live your life more happily.
But there are very few people who don't have one memory of an experience that they wish they could forget... or even wish never happened in the first place.
Redditor Lord_Lazignac was curious to learn of experiences people had which continue to traumatize them to this day, leading them to ask:
"What event in your life still f*cks with you to this day?"
Parents who still from their children.
"There was a girl next door to my grandparent’s house that I had the biggest crush on."
"Her name was Becca."
"We had known each other from the time I was really little."
"We were both coming into the ages of liking the opposite sex at the same time and we had similar troubled childhoods (Becca lived with her grandparents, too)."
"Somewhere after holding hands, but before a first kiss, Becca gave me a ring."
She ‘borrowed’ it from her grandpa and needed it back the next day."
"I was on cloud 9."
"With excitement I showed my mom the ring."
"She asked my grandparents to borrow their truck and told me to get in and make sure I brought the ring."
"I had no idea what was going on."
"We pulled up to the 'jewelry store' at Eureka and Telegraph and she asked to see the ring."
"She went inside,'no kids were allowed', and came out about 20 minutes later."
"Then, we went to Mcdonald’s."
"The first time I’d eaten anything but food pantry food in at least a year."
"She said the 'jewelry store' needed to borrow that specific ring for a few weeks to clean it up."
"I asked what I was supposed to tell Becca had happened to it, and she said to tell her that I had lost it."
"I never saw the ring again, and Becca never talked to me again."- Davidsilak
A heartbreaking moment of false hope.
"My father was in hospice dying from cancer."
"He had stopped eating and was barely communicative."
"We knew it was just a matter of days."
"Mom and I went to visit him every day for a few hours so he wouldn’t be alone."
"One morning we get a call."
"Fearing the worst I answered it- expecting them to let us know he had passed."
"My father was on the phone and he sounded well."
"He even said he was hungry and asked for breakfast!"
"He told me he was looking forward to our visit!"
"I was stunned."
"Had all these emotions and thoughts- maybe it was a miracle and he was going to beat this!"
"Hopped in the car and started driving over."
"Got another phone call, this time it was the hospice folks."
"He had just passed."
"The rollercoaster of emotions from that morning haunt me."
"I was numb for a long time."
"There was a period where I thought maybe I hallucinated and never spoke with my dad that morning."
"To put my mind at ease I met with the hospice nurse who was with my dad that morning."
"She explained this concept called terminal lucidity."
"She says it’s not uncommon at all and is usually a sign that someone will pass soon."
"That helped, but it still haunts me."- bondsman333
Losing a loved one to suicide.
"I lost a friend to suicide in autumn 2017."
"He was the first person I loved and he was also the first, and only, person to properly break my heart, which happened some years before he died."
"His mental health was always chaotic and in the months before his death l’d distanced myself because I was finding it overwhelming."
"Something I regret now but also understand I needed to do."
"I never wanted to not be his friend, I always saw a future with us in a place were we’d be old friends who could joke about him breaking my heart when I was 20."
"Our friendship never recovered to what it was without the messy love thing, but it was getting there."
"Since his death I have realized how much he influenced me to be the person I am today."
"I really miss him."
"I understand and accept his death."
"However even now this life without him feels off balance, like something went wrong with the universe."
"I had so much faith in him getting better."- CryptographerWeak873
"My brother committed suicide when I was about 12 years old."
"A few weeks after his passing, I was half asleep on the couch and heard my family talk about how he actually had cancer but took his own life as to not be a burden on the family."
"The problem is, I was only 12 and half awake when I overheard all of this, so I'm not sure whether it's even true or something my brain made up in it's semi-conscious state."
"To this day, I don't have the balls to confront my family on the topic."- dirtycommie123
Not getting there in time.
"Was a normal Friday."
"I had taken an early day to help my father with haylage."
"Earlier that morning my father brought my mother to the hospital because she was dry heaving a lot."
"When I got home the home phone rang and I picked up."
"They said it was the hospital and that they were going to transfer her to a bigger hospital because she had just had a heart attack."
"So I tell my father and he goes to the bigger hospital to fill out forms and stuff."
"3hrs later I get a call saying that they are going to airlift her to the city with the best cardiac doctors."
"So I start to pack bags for everyone."
"Then my father calls me one more time to tell me to go get my brother from his pre-prom party because moms not going to make it."
"So I'm driving like a bat outta hell trying to find my brother's party."
"Then speed all the way to the hospital praying that the cops have a huge drug bust or something."
"I get to the hospital with my brother and we see our father outside the room crying."
"My father is an emotional man when it comes to death."
"I have never seen him cry so much."
"I look to my right and there's 7 people in my mother's room."
"Doctors nurses the helicopter crew that was going to transfer her."
"It was about 45 minutes it felt like and they said there was nothing else they could do."
"My mother died that day without a warning."- Puzzleheaded_Cap174
Never getting to repay generosity
"A friend in HS loaned me 200 dollars right before we graduated."
"We lost contact and I still often wake up in the middle of the night wishing I could have the opportunity to pay him back."
"I'm 50 this year."- Genbu7
Lack of consequences
"My mom was hit and killed by a driver on her morning walk."
"My dad stood right next to her and was almost hit himself."
"It happened in a public park in an unmarked crosswalk."
"The guy never got out of his truck to help as my mom bled out."
"My dad watched the whole thing."
"They were married for 45 yrs."
"I can’t ever get the call from my dad out of my head."
"He called me while on the scene to tell me mom was dead."
"The guy that hit her never received even a ticket."
"He got off Scott free because the DA ruled it an accident."
"Even witnesses at the scene said he failed to yield."
"My mom was killed within two steps of the curb."
"Literally one second later she’d have been ok."
"The dude hit her in the shoulder."
"Even the police stated this."
"He broke laws and faced no consequences."
"My dad is a shell of himself."- thecazbah
"When I was 16 I was on my way to take my SAT on a Saturday morning."
"I pulled up to a 4-way stop on a quiet street and looked both directions."
"Glanced to my right and saw a car way down the road, didn’t look for more than a second and thought I was good, since he had to stop at his stop sign."
"I enter the intersection and look to my right again and the car is already at the intersection."
"He was going 55mph on a 25mph road."
"He was not stopping."
"Time slowed down as I realized 'oh he’s about to t-bone the side of my tiny pickup truck."
"So I look away from the window to keep my face safe from any potential flying shards of glass, I white-knuckle grip the wheel and just hope for the best."
"He flipped my truck, I rolled onto my side and nail a telephone pole with the top of my truck."
"As I’m laying there on my side I’m feeling all over my body just expecting to be badly hurt and just in shock but amazingly, my worst injury is a scraped elbow."
"This was nearly 10 years ago and even today I drive like a grandma when it comes to intersections."
"I’ll wait an extra few seconds every time if I feel like a car is approaching too quickly."
"There have been times where a car is coming up quick and my heart rate will skyrocket because I think I’m about to get hit again."
"I have never trusted another driver ever since that day and being that defensive has never steered me wrong."
"On the bright side, the guy who hit me immediately called the police, then shoved his shirt through a crack in my door so I could cover myself while the cop broke the window and pulled me out."
"He broke several bones, admitted fault to the police the second they got there and personally apologized to my hysterical mother any myself multiple times."
"As sh*tty as I was that he hit me, at least he wasn’t a sh*tty person."
"I still took my SAT too, my hand was shaking from adrenaline the entire time."- HallucinatesOtters
Choosing to pull the plug
"Having to make the decision to take my mother off of a ventilator."
"Making the decision to end her life."
"I tell myself that it was the right thing to do."
"I have no doubt her quality of life would have been nonexistent."
"However, no amount of rationalizing can make me feel okay as a daughter."- dontonefingerme
Some horrible experiences are just a right of passage.
While others are experiences no one should ever have to go through.
Both are extremely difficult to recover from.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Dear parents born in the 80s/90s :
Your child is probably (we never really know for sure) not a weed dealer.
So if you hear them talking about "mids" - they're not talking about average grade or potency cannabis. They are, in fact, probably talking about your lame old self and/or something you own or tried to give them.
Reddit user Kengriffinspimp asked:
"What slang word did you hear that let you know you are no longer young?"
Now, the reason I can give you this lesson is that my 15-year-old looked me dead in the face and told me I needed to stop buying mids because it was bumming her out.
So I'm all:
"First of all, how did you get into my lockbox? Secondly, my cannabis is medical grade, prescription, and grown on a small batch boutique farm and probably blessed by the rains down in Africa or whatever, thank you very much. And third of all, when did you become a budtender???"
... You know those moments where you're blankly staring and the other person is blankly staring and then you suddenly realize you two are absolutely not talking about the same thing?
Turns out my teenager was bummed that we had purchased some non-Eggo waffles and, while they were chocolate chip so not TOTALLY unacceptable, the quality was "meh" and she wanted her high-grade waffles back.
Waffles. Not Weed. Just waffles.
"Mid" is just what the young people now call anything of mediocre/average quality now.
Turns out I'm old, and also that my children are bougie and need name-brand waffles.
" 'Oof.' All the Roblox players thought they invented it."
"Oh. My. God. My partner and I can't work out why her 11 year old niece says oof all the time. But she is a Roblox player - we know that. Is that where it's from?!?"
"This whole time I thought 'oof' as a Reddit thing."
Is There A Fire?bart simpson dancing GIFGiphy
"Lit has changed meaning from when I was young. Couldn't understand the context when I started hearing it again."
"Is something on fire??"
"Lit af bro"
"We used to use it a lot in Counter Strike to indicate the amount of damage someone took."
"An example would be , 'he’s lit 90'."
"For me it was 'no cap'."
"...actually I have no idea wtf that means either..."
"Was going to say this exact thing. What does it mean?"
"Even knowing what it means immediately based on the context, the phrase just irrationally irritates me."
"Idk what it is. I just have a small urge to smack whoever says it."
- User Deleted
"I went to ask a coworker if he had left some product in my designated loading area (forklift certified). "
"He told me 'that's cap'. I had to look over to a buddy and asked if that meant it was true or not true. I'm only 28 and this happened last year to me..."
Pogs Are Back?90s pogs GIFGiphy
"When my son is impressed by something, he says it is 'poggers' which I guess means "pinnacle of gaming' according to him."
"This is true and gets used even if the impressive thing has nothing at all to do with video games."
"It's not actually an acronym (people always think it's 'play of the game' as well)."
"There was this twitch streamer who was actually playing pogs - like that chip game thing from the 90s? He got excited and made a goofy face, which got turned into a meme/twitch emote. So like, a zoomer meme that is built off a millennial game? I dunno."
"But yeah you basically got the actual meaning down."
"Omg I thought poggers was a joke? They actually say it? Lol well here’s my answer!"
"It's like proclaiming "f*ck yes", being very impressed, whatever they saw is awesome."
Who Has A Mop?
" 'Drip.' "
"My kids explained it is akin to the 'bling ' or 'swag' of my youth."
"Drip is swag"
"I first encountered 'Drip' watching WWE wrestling a year or two ago."
"One of the characters was calling himself the 'Drip King' and the announcers kept going on about it, and I was wondering if they were talking about his long, wet hair or if I was now too old. "
"It was the latter, of course. Not a surprise, though - I've been a regular Internet user for 25 years and have been made to feel old on pretty much a weekly basis for 15-20 of them."
When Did Public Transport Get Cool?
"Listening to my 10 year old son talk: 'Mom, this food is BUSSIN GOD ON GOD'."
"Did you learn what the hell bussin means?"
"Watched Joshua Weisman on YouTube for a bit, he uses this term now. First time I heard it was a year ago from an ex inmate cooking prison food on Facebook."
"I work in the industry."
"Bussin' is something you do to tables."
"I'm broke. Bussin' is something you do when you don't have a car."
"Why is it popular? When did public transportation get cool?"
" 'Yeet' - meaning to throw something hard/far."
"I like the word, but I still feel weird whenever I use it. My 6 year old plays lacrosse and I instantly regretted when I yelled 'Yeet it'" at a game ... cringe moment for me, honestly."
"My five year old has never known a world without "yeet." When talking to old people he uses the formal word throw.
"I'm team 'yeet' for sure!! In my mid 30s and as a coach I love it. I'm young enough to impress with my skills (experience) yet old enough to make them cringe when I say it. It's a dad's perfect storm."
"As a 30-year-old, yeet is the perfect word I didn't know I needed until I found it. There wasn't anything nearly as snappy to shout that meant "I'm throwing something" before. We had "think fast" back in my day, but yeet is so much better."
"I'm 43, but I'm all in on yeet. It's a great word. Past tense is yote."
"Of all these, I kind of like yeet. It’s almost onomatopoeia. When something gets thrown unexpectedly or absurdly far, describing it as “getting yeeted” cracks me up."
"Fam. I understood what it meant by context, but that's when I realized I'm no longer part of the youngsters."
"Went directly to the mall and bought me a tweed jacket."
"Did you tell the shopkeeper that tweed apparel was sick?"
"I feel like this word will get integrated into the middle class lexicon in about a decade, my Dad is as white as they come but now says 'Where you at?'."
It's A Fight?Ultimate Warrior Wrestling GIF by WWEGiphy
" 'Slaps'. Took me so long to figure out if it meant good or bad so I had to look on urban dictionary"
"Back in my day, and in my country/city, 'slaps' used to mean someone was about to get a beating"
"This is so far down. First time I really truly felt my age, also the urge to become the one who slaps."
"I still don't get what it means"
"Yah saw that somewhere recently in that Pam meme and inspired this post haha"
"To say something is mid, is just like saying it's mediocre."
"It's an insult, it's saying its medium, middle, or medicore, but mainly used to describe things/people that people dislike. I think it got popular after everyone hated jellybean"
Welp, now that I'm nearly 40, it's very probable that I will never again understand the majority of what gets talked about when this question comes up.
I need to go sit with that and feel my e-mortality now.
The body is an amazing thing.
There isn't enough time to learn everything there is to know about it.
And of course there is some knowledge most of us can do without ever knowing.
That is why I dropped out of anatomy... no thank you.
Redditorsammbhav01 wanted to discuss a little anatomy while they had our attention. They asked:
"What is a nsfw fact about humans?"
I hate body facts. I'm sheepish.
How about Dinner First?Oh My Reaction GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
"Doctors will press on the penis glans while having one finger in the anus, if by pressing the gland the sphincter of the anus try to close, it means the reflex is still alive, it is sometimes used to check if theres any damage to the spinal cord after an accident."
Bad to Worse
"The most f**ked up human fact I know is: generally, during a kidney transplant, the old kidneys are not removed from the body, they are left inside after the transplant. There is actually a gentleman in the Netherlands who holds the world record for number of kidneys inside his body, which is currently 7."
"I’ll make it worse. The native kidneys shrivel up like raisins. So they’re just little beans hanging around uselessly once the transplant has been there awhile. They have such a complicated vascular system, it’s easier to leave them in — and it helps that they won’t take up too much room for long."
Quite a Load
"The average human poops close to 400lbs per year."
"My guess is it’s calculated by looking at throughput volume in sewage systems and dividing by the number of people in the service area using census data."
"Could also be a very long series of laborious collections from individuals, but I personally wouldn’t want to participate in that work (as the pooper OR the scientist). Now what would be really interesting if we did have individual-level data would be to examine the median, mode, range, error, etc. to determine if the average is 'normal' or skewed by a small percentage of insanely high-volume poopers."
Sexy Time For All
"Some people achieve orgasm getting their nipples pierced."
Going Downsharks lol GIF by Look HumanGiphy
"Human vaginal secretions contain hyaluronic acid and squalene, which are both used in skincare for hydration and elasticity. Squalene is also produced in high amounts in shark liver, so vaginas and sharks have that in common."
"If you continue to have an erection for several hours, blood will start to clot and harden, which decreases oxygenated blood flow to the tissue and can cause ischemia in the penile tissue. If one has an erection for longer than 24 hrs, the chances of having Erectile Dysfunction afterwards are exponentially higher statistically, from my understanding."
"Toddler's adult teeth are stored right under their eyes at some point."
"Can confirm. During my studies the first time we were shown a child x-ray and asked for diagnosis, everybody was freaking out that there is something seriously wrong (we didn't know it was a child). Turns out we were completely bamboozled and it was a healthy child. That day I learned where and when adult teeth develop during childhood."
"There are traces of human fecal matter pretty much everywhere."
"Mythbusters did a test where they were trying to see if putting your toothbrush in the cupboard would keep it cleaner. They had controls in other rooms that they expected to stay 100% poop free, but every single one tested positive for poop. There is no escape, there is nowhere safe."
Let it BurnMusical GIF by Tony AwardsGiphy
"The stomach acid in humans is so strong it could eat through most metals. However we're protected because of the mucus lining our gut."
The body is crazy. What a design.
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Living life without fear is an admirable belief within reason.
After all, fear can block us from opportunity, and abandoning the thing that terrifies us most can be liberating.
That being said, we shouldn't be reckless.
It's important to note there are a few things in life we should be cognizant of–for they can seriously contribute to our demise if we choose to be blissfully ignorant.
Curious to hear examples of the things we should be cautious of, Redditor Specktakles88 asked:
"What do most people not realize can seriously f*ck you up?"
Out in nature, we should never be too arrogant about our greatness as a species.
The Air Up There
"Hiking at altitude you're not used to."
"I tried to climb a 5000m peak totally alone, without telling anyone but this nomad dude what my plans were. Got to 4800m or so and started to feel like I was going blind, followed by HAPE symptoms. I've climbed mountains my whole life, so I knew to get the hell outta there, but wow was it a stupid idea. I'm lucky to have made it out unscathed to eat some totally bangin' nomad momos."
Don't Underestimate Cuteness
"Kangaroos. On my tour of the blue mountains in New South Wales, the guide got on the microphone and announced to the group 'if you see a roo, stay away. They are dumb and will f**K you up.'”
"Apparently they have a claw on their hind leg similar to a raptor that can slice your abdomen so deep that your guys fall right out."
When On Their Turf
"The wild animals in national parks. Those aren't tame, they will hurt or kill you. They don't exist as a photo prop."
You may want to avoid these in you know what's good for you. Like, your well-being.
"sugar free gummy bears."
Heed The Drowsiness Warning
"I was once a stupid kid who wanted to get high at any cost, so I took a dozen Benadryl pills at once. The only research I did was reading others experiences and checking the LD50 was higher than my dose."
"I have never had such vivid, believable audible hallucinations. I had a full conversation with a friend who walked in, only to realize I was talking to myself. I closed my eyes and multiple streams of different people talking flooded my mind. I don't remember what they were saying, but I remember being able to tune in and out of the different conversations and thinking they were so real. It almost sounded like my own radio station in my head."
"It was incredibly stupid and I'm lucky nothing bad immediately happened."
"Edit: LD50 was higher than my dose, not lower!"
"Cement dust. If you're ever around a construction site and notice cement dust in the air, mask up or move the f'k on."
"Silicosis. Bad news."
We typically take our physical health for granted.
Don't do that.
"Ignoring teeth problems. I had a filling that fell out and I ignored it, worst pain ever. Cost me a lot too."
Prevent A Fatal Progression
"An infection in your gums can easily migrate to your heart."
Can Be Mind-Blowing
"I think tooth abscesses (or something like that) can even extend into the brain and just f'king explode it."
Assault On Our Ears
"Listening to loud music or being exposed to loud sounds daily. Can cause permanent tinnitus or hearing loss issues down the road."
"Hear me out, but cancer treatment."
"You all know about the basics like vomiting and hair loss, but it's so much more than that. The whole point of chemo is that you're betting that your cells can last longer in a toxic environment than the cancer cells, so oyu poison your body. I have permanent nerve damage in my toes from where the chemo f'ked up my nerve endings. I had a fissure up my ass about 10 inches, so sh**ting was a 9/10 pain experience. Only pain that was worse was when the mucositis got so bad I couldn't tolerate drinking water. Imagine being in such pain that you can't drink water even after chugging 20mg of hydrocodone, with the glass right in front of you. I got hospitalized twice for dehydration that way."
"I'm cancer free now, and I hope I never have to go through that again. F'k cancer."
Many of the examples listed above are easily taken for granted.
We shouldn't cower in the shadows, however, and be fearful of life's many mysteries.
But if you continue to be inquisitive and keep learning–at any age–newly acquired knowledge can potentially save your life.
And for goodness sake, visit the dentist office from time to time, and ease off on those sugar-free gummy bears.