It feels weird and cold where my mask used to be. Is this normal?
It’s normal to feel uncomfortable without a mask in public after wearing one for the past year. Your face isn’t actually cold. It’s May. You’re just used to it being covered by fabric.

But did part of my face fall off?
No, your face is fully intact. You’re just not wearing a mask.

Should I keep my mouth open all the time? Or should I close it sometimes too?
Open your mouth to form words when you’re speaking to make complete vowel sounds. Then close it and listen to the sounds coming from the mouth of the person you’re speaking with. This is called conversation.

Oh, I know about that. I do that all the time with my phone.
Now you will do it in person, too.

It sounds hard.
It will feel unnatural at first but will get easier with practice.

When it’s my turn to talk, how long should I talk? Twenty minutes?
No, twenty minutes is too long. Just speak things you might text a friend, but with your voice.

But how do I speak emojis?
Don’t try to speak emojis. Just speak words.

This sounds really complicated.
It’s actually less complicated than spelling words out with a keypad.

I looked in the mirror, and two pink lines were covering a hole, and inside the hole were white square shapes. What are those?
Those are your lips and teeth. You’ve had them throughout the entire pandemic. It’s possible your lips began to molt from underuse and need to be moisturized. This would also be a good time to start brushing your teeth again.

When I took my mask off, some teeth fell out onto the table. Should I be worried?
Yes. Again, those are your teeth. The importance of dental hygiene did not change during the pandemic. Call your dentist and tell them your teeth fell out.

I got used to constantly talking to myself in public, but now when I do it, I feel weird. I’m worried I won’t be able to have thoughts unless I mutter them out loud.
You will have thoughts regardless of whether you say them out loud. Practice not verbalizing your thoughts under your breath. When you have a thought, simply say nothing. It will feel strange at first, but try not to make noise out of your mouth every time you think something.

But if I’m not wearing a mask, won’t people be able to see my thoughts anyway?
No one can see your thoughts simply because your mouth is visible. Thoughts occur in the mind, which is not a material space. Only you will know your thoughts unless you verbally share them with people.

That’s amazing.
It has literally always been this way.

If you say so. Wait — could you hear that?
Yes, because you said it out loud with your mouth.

A light breeze grazed my upper lip, and it made me feel funny. Could I have gotten pregnant?
No, it is impossible to get pregnant from the air.

But I can get pregnant from thoughts, right?
No. Again, the nature of thoughts is not physical. No one has ever been impregnated by thoughts.

But what if I want to get pregnant? How does that happen?
The same way it did before the pandemic.

I don’t remember what that was.
Many don’t. It’s okay. You’ll relearn.

Should I take a class?
It’s probably unnecessary as there are plenty of videos online.

Oh, right. I never stopped watching those… ohhhhhhh.
Now you remember.

But I have to find another person for that.

Should I announce in a public space, with my mouth, that I am looking for a person to do that with?
That tactic is usually frowned upon. Again, remember not to verbalize every thought you have. Someone will probably eventually come along.

And they’ll be wonderful?
Probably not, no. Remember, we’re all starting from scratch. So whatever your expectations were before the pandemic, drop them a few notches, and start under that.

What should I do with my old mask?
Hang onto it until you get those missing teeth replaced, especially if you’re looking for someone to get you pregnant.

Maybe I should ask my dentist to get me pregnant.
You know what? It’s probably better to just keep wearing the mask forever.