So, how do we move forward?
First, realize that your safety is in your hands. That means that if you want to continue to wear a mask over your face and gloves to go grocery shopping, then DO IT. Pack mentality might make you feel funny, (seeing others without face masks) but your life and peace of mind are worth more than someone else's opinion.
Secondly, your safety is in your hands. Yes, I wrote it again. If you walk into a crowded store, don't feel obligated to stay and shop! There are other places to shop, you don't have to put yourself at risk because you don't want to feel silly walking out. Don't justify risking your life by rubbing shoulders with others, just because others are doing it.
Protect Your Life.
Lastly, realize that this virus will become a part of our lives for quite a while to come. The flu and colds are viruses and we lives with those, so we'll live with this one. That being said, remember it's highly contagious so if you need a mask, gloves, or to shop early hours to feel safer, do so.
The answer is not to give in to fear, but to mitigate your risk. There's a reason most people don't traverse dark alleys when they can take safer routes. Be smart with your safety.
Personally, I have immune-compromised family members and older family members, so likely I'll continue to wear masks and use hand sanitized so that I can continue to help keep them safe by keeping myself safer.
It's all about what is best for you and your life going forward. Taking personal responsibility for your own safety is a uniquely American privilege. While our government works on a vaccine, we each do our part by maintaining cleanliness and staying home if we're sick, or wearing a mask when we go out.
Masking our faces may be a temporary change in our hygienic behaviors, but if it makes you feel safer in the months to come, then continue on as you need. If you want to avoid crowded places, it's okay. If you need to walk away from a crowded store or vacation spot, there is no shame in doing what's best for you.
Stay well and let's get back to living a robust life.