After the latest CDC directive, that fully vaccinated people can largely do away with masks inside and outside, I've started sculpting the framework of the stories I'll tell years from now, about an epoch global super bug that took away loved ones from our arms that couldn't even hug them goodbye in the final moments.

I'll hearken back to these days and remember my close friends who were pounded by the widespread affliction, that forced some of them to rely on respirators to breath, while others were given a pass, as in Monopoly. By and large, I've been thinking about this pivotal moment, our gradual return to the ordinary daily round, and how I would call to mind the side notes and postscripts of this story.

My contagion year began in early March of 2021, as my wife Celeste and I were making preparations to broadcast live from New Bedford Day in Fort Myers, Florida. Our adult children feared for our health when we flew back home. I thought silently that the kids were overreacting to all the wall-to-wall news coverage.

And then the NBA, stunning the nation, cancelled its season. The Zeiterion, local restaurants, and bars were shutting down, and I couldn't help but feel the angst from the community. The face masks, in short supply, were flown in from China by Robert Kraft. There was a sense of mutuality and cooperation forming with some, and at the same time, non-compliance among vocal critics who damned the government mandates and guidelines.

I heard a psychologist, who studies memory, say we tend to lay out our COVID stories like mini screenplays to give our recollections and our lives meaning. And then, the moment of truth, when he said if we have any silver linings and hopeful endings, they could reveal something important about how we handle setbacks.

How we tell our stories can transform how we move forward from hard times, so I've decided to frame the damn face masks.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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