Lauren McKenzie, who is 35 and lives in Surprise, Arizona, recently flew to California to attend a funeral. On the flight back, she felt a familiar tingle in her neck, muscle tension building up in her chest. Oh no: she had to sneeze, in an airport, during a pandemic.
“The urge to take off my mask was so strong,” McKenzie said. “Then the logic kicked in: I had to sneeze into the mask.”
Her fellow passengers waiting at the gate stared, their eyes dripping judgement. “I thought, ‘I did my civic duty, people!’ It’s nasty, but I did it. That was the weirdest feeling, the panic of that sneeze. Everyone told me to change my mask, which I did—obviously.”
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