▶️ Keys, phone, wallet, mask – some folks getting used to the new essentials

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

COVID cases in the state are declining but health officials hoped Oregonians would celebrate smartly this Labor Day weekend – and continue to wear masks.

And while wearing masks has become something of a political issue for many, others are getting used to the idea of face coverings as an essential part of their wardrobe.

Josh Lawler works in the healthcare industry.

And says while he understands the importance of wearing a mask, it took a while to get in the habit.

“You’re trying to protect other people’s family, and your own wellbeing for that matter,” Lawler said. “So it’s super necessary, I don’t have a problem with it. I get it’s annoying, I get it’s a burden, but it’s better for everybody in the long run.”

In an op-ed in The Oregonian this weekend, State Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger begged residents to stay vigilant for the health of everyone.

“The data is clear: If we ease up on safe practices and gather in unsafe ways, we will see the virus surge and cases rise again soon,” he wrote in urging folks to continue to wear masks among other precautions like social distancing and celebrating with only small groups.

Portland resident Molly Andoe doesn’t work in healthcare herself but has friends that do.

She says that alone has motivated her to keep a mask handy.

“You know if they’re in there day in and day out putting in the work, protecting themselves, protecting their patients,” Andoe said. “I have no problem helping close that gap for them and where my mask outside or wherever.”

Both Lawler and Andoe said it’s a new normal they just have to get used to, and that having multiple masks on hand has been helpful.

“Now that everything is back in stock, I keep a spare one in the truck,” Lawler said. “Keep a spare one in the pocket, lunch box, all that kind of stuff.”

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