|To mask or not to mask? A charged question these days, one with an obvious answer — for both those who choose to mask and those who do not, with little middle ground between these two extremes. I do not consider myself politically active, but my decision to mask has become hyper-politicized — when it should be plain common sense. Do I feel less “free” with a mask on my face? Not at all. Sunglasses, ski goggles, make-up. All forms of face coverings, many of which could be considered a mask or a mask-equivalent. I mask for my father who was hospitalized from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day and remains immunocompromised. I mask for my father-in-law who is on the Parkinson’s spectrum. I mask for my mother who is 76 and my diabetic mother-in-law who turns 70 next week. I mask for my brother who works in a hospital system and for his friends with prostate cancer and leukemia. I mask for my aunt who had heart surgery last year and my uncle who suffered a stroke two years ago. I mask for my cousin who has lupus and for another cousin diagnosed with MS. I mask for my niece who starts college in the fall and will share a room in an urban campus dormitory. I mask for my friends who gave birth in the past month, and their new tiny humans . I mask for the carriers who deliver my groceries, books, and packages. I mask for the operators keeping the trains and buses running smoothly in my neighborhood. I mask for my neighbors and their children running up and down the alley, desperate to play outdoors. I mask to support the local manufacturer that kept production lines running and people employed by sewing mas ks. I mask to support the Etsy artisans and the local retailers that donate a mask for each one purchased. I mask for the healthcare workers and first responder heroes who remain on the job. I mask to save lives. So, I ask again: to mask or not to mask? How is this still a question?