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Experts say it’s normal to feel uncomfortable about no masks

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Feeling weird about taking the mask off after months of having to put one on? Experts said it’s normal.

“It was hard for us to put our masks on, so of course it’s going to be more challenging for some of us to take them off,” said Florida Gulf Coast University Counseling Center Director Dr. Alise Bartley. 

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidance saying anyone who is fully vaccinated can opt not to wear a mask in most situations, indoors or out.

Dr. Bartley said getting used to it really comes down to our habits.

“Some people have heard the saying it takes 21 times to make something a habit,” she said. “Actually, it’s over 270 times to make something a habit.”

That doesn’t mean throw out every mask you ever owned just yet. Some stores will be holding on to their mask mandates for a little while longer.

In a statement, Walgreens told NBC2:

“As a destination for COVID vaccine and testing we have decided to keep our current face-covering policy in place for the time being. The safety of our team members and customers is our top priority and will continue to guide our decision process.”

Publix said in a statement:

“We are aware of the latest information shared by the CDC regarding facemasks and are awaiting additional guidance before implementing potential changes.”

Meanwhile, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and some local small businesses are letting patrons go bare on their faces.

Studio RK salon in Fort Myers will give both employees and clients the option starting June 1.

“I know it sounds silly because it’s just a mask, but it really is kind of a barrier between us and our guests,” said Salon Director Ashley Marks. “You can’t see people’s expressions and how they’re feeling, so we are excited to be able to eliminate that.”

They won’t require any vaccination information. And if you’d still prefer your stylist to wear a mask, you can request that ahead of your appointment. 

It’s no secret everyone has had different feelings about masks during the pandemic. Dr. Bartley said your grace should not only be given to yourself, but the people around you too, regardless of if people still choose to mask up.

“We need to remember that we don’t know what has happened to everyone during this pandemic,” she said. “We don’t have any right to judge someone else.”

The post Experts say it’s normal to feel uncomfortable about no masks appeared first on NBC2 News.

NBC2 Fort Myers

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