It was pretty big news when the Missoula City-County Health Department announced that May 11 would be the day they would make a decision about the future of the mask mandate. And then we even got the news a day early - on Monday the announcement came that masks would now be recommended instead of required. That news probably had a few people doing cartwheels while others cursed it. But it does feel like a pretty big step in getting on the other side of this pandemic and all the craziness we've faced over the last fifteen months or so.

I was getting a haircut on Monday, about an hour after the mask mandate was lifted. They had me take my mask off to wash my hair, and when I sat down in the chair to start the haircut the stylist said I could leave it off or wear it - my choice. I have to say - it felt pretty weird to even have the option after all this time!

But is it just me or does it feel really confusing with the "should we or shouldn't we?" - and the "are we supposed to or are we not supposed to?" questions? I feel like every place I walk into has everybody looking around and wondering what the policy of the store is.

I was at Costco last night and everybody I saw going through the doors was wearing masks. So on went mine. Inside the store I only saw one family that wasn't wearing them. I still don't know if Costco has eased up on their requirements or if I just saw a few people going rogue.

And today, I popped into Walgreens and there was definitely a split of both mask users and non-users. It feels like it's going to take a week or two just to get the new lay of the land when it comes to what stores are still requiring masks and which ones aren't.

Some places that you'll definitely still need to wear masks include the University of Montana, Missoula International Airport, Mountain Line buses, Federal buildings, healthcare facilities, and some government offices.

Have you noticed where you do and don't have to wear one? Drop us a note - I might need to make a wallet card so I can stay on top of things!

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