This week I’ve been contemplating how people and places are easing back into normalcy.  I went to the grocery store and there was a sign communicating that masks remain required for unvaccinated people.  The mask policy is on the honor system, and there was definitely a mix of mask wearing in that instance.  

The CDC shared helpful guidelines in the middle of May about how to protect yourself and others once a person is fully vaccinated.  The website can be found here. And as the CDC states, “If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.”*

Here’s the thing though . . . I am fully vaccinated, and yet I still wore my mask while grocery shopping.  I know that I don’t have to, but the thought of taking off my mask while in a more crowded public place made me feel anxious!  That’s just the truth.  And I decided that perhaps this moment was about prioritizing my mental health and feeling better about being doubly protected by wearing the mask even when I didn’t actually have to.  

Maybe your hesitations have gone away for the most part after you’ve been vaccinated.
Maybe you never had them to begin with!
Maybe you have similar thoughts about continuing to mask in public places even if you don’t have to. 
There’s all sorts of ways we might be thinking and feeling. 
Being gentle with ourselves is going to be so important moving forward, that’s the thought that came to mind this week.  And doing our best not to judge where anybody may be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in these complex times in which we are still living, even when that comes to not judging ourselves. 

Pastor Lauren 

*”When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated, How to Protect Yourself and Others,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 16, 2021,

Photo by Winston Chen on Unsplash

Thursday Thoughts 6/10/21