Why I Am Not Wearing a Mask - Another Perspective

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Beam & Branch Realty TREC #547752

Why I Am Not Wearing a Mask - Another Perspective

Please take a moment to stay with me regarding the topic of wearing a mask or choosing not to wear a mask. Like everything else, there are two sides to every situation. In our current pandemic, emotions are heightened and everything appears to be a trigger.

Let me tell you why I am not wearing a mask. Over ten years ago, I lost a huge chunk of my lower left lung. Having never smoked a day in my life and being an athlete, having a massive tumor discovered in my lung was quite a shock.

Thankfully, I came through the surgery, and ten plus years later, I am still plugging away. However, many things changed as a result of the lost lung. First, I have had to learn what a new normal was for me. This included how to really take care of my health.

As you can imagine, the loss of a lung affects your oxygen level, everyday breathing is different, and your immune system is compromised. Therefore, over the years I have made many changes. No more perfumes, aerosol sprays, candles, scented plug-in devices, hair spray, and other chemicals in the air.

Additionally, I must continue to do whatever I can to keep my body strong. Eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercise all help me to stay as healthy as I can. I also have to be extremely careful not to be around people who are sick.

When this COVID situation erupted, people were calling me left and right urging me to be careful. While being thankful for the care and concern, I realized that what I was already doing every day of my life is effective. The only area of angst for me is wearing a mask.

It is essential that I breathe in as much oxygen as possible. A mask not only cuts down on the amount of oxygen I am receiving, but it also creates a moist environment for bacteria, viruses, and fungi to cling and grow. This would be the absolute worst thing for me at this point.

So, when you see someone without a mask, don’t judge them. Perhaps they have an underlying reason for not wearing one. Each person needs to do what they feel is important and necessary for them. Please respect those who are not wearing a mask. There may be more to their story than you could possibly know.

Posted by

Beam & Branch Realty       

"Have you fully lived today?"

   Paula L. McDonald ~ REALTOR®, 

        Granbury, Texas 

 936-203-0279 Direct

Selling Hood County and surrounding areas!




 John Maxwell

Farm & Ranch


          ABR                 Institute for Luxury Marketing                Institute for Luxury Home Marketing


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Copyright 2021 Paula McDonald

Comments (65)

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

I appreciate your perspective, Paula. And, I too wasn't aware of your medical condition. I am glad you are doing everything you can to take good care of you. It's so easy for us to quickly judge, not realizing that we don't have the full story about someone.  The only time I really raise my eyebrows is when someone doesn't adhere to personal space - I literally got shoved aside on a trail last month by a runner coughing her head off - last time I have been on a local trail. I miss it. 

May 16, 2020 08:42 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Great post, and as an asthma sufferer I understand your viewpoint. When I am out and near people I wear a mask, but it impacts my breathing almost at once. Cannot imagine only having only one and a half lungs how it would impact you. Stay well and healthy.

May 16, 2020 08:42 AM
Kathy Streib

it impacts my breathing almost immediately too Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 

May 16, 2020 02:42 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS

Same here, Nick! I still do it - BECAUSE of the asthma! Our lungs are not nearly 100% so, we have to protect them at all costs. I wore a mask in the OR for so many years, they don't bother me as much as they do others but, the minute I put one on, my breathing changes. It stinks but, better to be safe than sorry!

May 18, 2020 08:23 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Paula:

Sounds like you have been doing all the right things to maintain your health. No doubt that's even more of a challenge these days. Thank you for your perspective - things are not always what they seem!


May 16, 2020 09:16 AM
Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc
Benchmark Realty LLc - Nashville, TN

Hi Paula - I'm glad someone put this out here because I believe we have been told a lot of things by supposed experts that really doesn't make sense. Flatten the curve they said, then we can go back to business they said. Then the number of cases wasn't anywhere near what they predicted, but they still wanted us to stay shut down until they have a cure. Really. They don't have a cure for the common cold, how should we expect them to cure this. Here in my area of Williamson county we've had 10 people die this year with covid. The largest hospital in the county hasn't had a covid patient in over a week. Your odds of dying with covid, as opposed to from covid are 1 out of 23,800. Nashville is almost the same. I've been ignoring the whole thing for several weeks now and become somewhat angry that we have been misled by the WHO, CDC, and NIH. They keep moving the goalpost and changing the rules because they don't like the score. We need to fire them all.

May 16, 2020 09:44 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect



May 17, 2020 01:55 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS

They can't fire Fauci - he's a 'public hero,' Larry!! Sad but, true - firing him would be a terrible move.

May 18, 2020 08:21 PM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

There are many reasons for or against masks. I feel that it should be left up to the individual and the situation just as in your case. Having said that, I'm so glad I live in Florida where at least we could spend time outdoors even during the "stay at home" period.  You would think that after almost two months of everyone staying home, wearing masks and taking other precautions, no one should even have as much as the sniffles anymore!

May 16, 2020 02:47 PM
Lindsay Reagan, Realtor
Bowen Realty - Wellington, FL

I am with you on this one Paula.   I have emphysema and wearing a mask is difficult for me.  I am gasping for breath when wearing one. For the first time in months....I left my home yesterday to get gas and to have the air in my tires checked (my dash had a blinking Low Tire Pressure notification on).   While at the auto repair store as I was wearing the mask I found myself gasping for air.  In terror, I jumped out of my car thinking I had it in park. By mistake ( in my panic) I had left it in neutral. By the grace of God  the car didn't roll into another car or a person!  But it did roll into a concrete wall and scrape my right rear door.   I will need to start leaving the house soon but not sure about the mask for me.   Not being able to get enough air is terrifying.

May 16, 2020 03:59 PM
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

Hi Paula,
Sorry to hear about the mass in your lung, happy to hear it turned out well for you. I think everyone should do what is comfortable for them. So far it is not mandatory for us to wear masks, and we have chosen not too. We do have them if they are needed.

May 16, 2020 04:57 PM
Mary M. Kandell
Russell Real Estate Services - Sandusky, OH

Unless you are wearing an N-95 mask, the only reason to wear one is to protect those around you.  I was a Registerd Nurse for more than 30 years and a Realtor for 16.  I am a life long asthmatic on daily medication and also have permanent reduced lung function.  I choose to continue to work, but wear a mask to protect those that are near me.  It is uncomfortable and breathing takes more concentration, but I truly believe that I may be keeping someone else from getting sick.  

May 17, 2020 04:42 AM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Paula, thank you for sharing this very important post, it has inspired many well-thought out comments while challenging "in the box" thinking.  

May 17, 2020 04:59 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I heard something similar to this over the radio last week--the caller was on oxygen and could NOT wear a mask.  easy to judge--I just take care of myself

May 17, 2020 07:07 PM
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Specialist

Paula, thanks for your thoughtful post and sharing your personal experience. So many factors to consider during these challenging times. 

May 17, 2020 08:06 PM
Ted Glover
Alderman Classic Realty, LLC - Moultrie, GA
ABR in Moultrie, Georgia 229-854-5422

Hi Paula, I  have used a mask and gloves once on request of a home owner. Safe practice and distant from most all people is what I do. Stay safe and healthy out there.

May 17, 2020 09:10 PM
Michael Eisenberg
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Real Estate Guy

Hi Paula,  Thanks for your persective and educating us to a different way of thinking. Best of luck to you. Stay Safe, Stay Healthy

May 18, 2020 12:42 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Thanks for explaining that, so we can getter a better perspective.  I also like that you eliminated: perfumes, aerosol sprays, candles, scented plug-in devices, hair spray, and other chemicals in the air. 
Everyone should pay attention to these potentially dangerous things in their homes and lives.

May 18, 2020 04:31 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Hi Paula! I had no idea about your medical history - how scary to hear that diagnosis and know that you have done nothing physically to cause such a diagnosis. If I recall correctly, Dana Reeve (Christopher Reeve's wife) had a similar shocking diagnosis - never smoked a day in her life either. I'm thrilled to hear you are doing so well.

Speaking as a former nurse & an asthmatic, I am totally shocked that your pulmonologist would tell you to leave your home without a mask. I would definitely get a second opinion. Wearing one is not comfortable to me either but, I want to protect others as well as myself. There are so many situations you simply cannot socially distance.

As soon as we realized we were going to be shut-down because of this virus, a dear friend of mine, who is an MD and knowing my history of astmna, sent me a copper mask and instructed me not to leave home without it! I will add that she is a staunch republican - this was about caring for me and certainly nothing political!

It seems that everyone has a 'cause' these days and they are giving terrible advice to those who only need the truth - it can be a difference between life & death. While I am not of the camp to wear a mask in my car, my house and to bed, I am neither of the camp to march against wearing a mask either! My angle is 100% from the heart and from practicality - not political! I do hope you'll get that second opinion. 

Another option you can use is wearing a sheild. Those don't touch your face and does not impede airflow. I bought supplies to make some for my fellow doctor & nurse friends on the front lines. If you're interested, I can send you instructions to make one - they are SO easy to make!

May 18, 2020 08:19 PM
Joe Trusty
Norcal Web Designs - Sacramento, CA
Real Estate Website Development Expert

I think if you explain that to people while maintaining social distancing its fine. If the mask hinders your ability to breathe its doing more harm than good at that point.

May 19, 2020 08:05 PM
Christine Wade
Christine Wade - Townsend, MT
Operations Strategist / Online Business Manager

Excellent post well made - I shared to my Facebook!  

May 20, 2020 08:37 AM
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Thank you for sharing this with us. Wearing a mask is something that each individual needs to make the choice for themselves to wear one or not to wear one. Appreciate your post have a great day. 

May 20, 2020 10:57 AM
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Thank you for sharing your situation.  We all need to be less judgemental of others.  Mask or no mask, mind your own business and move on.  I have heard of store employees being bullied for wearing a mask, rude comments from others, etc.  We don't know other people's situations and need to focus on taking care of our selves.  No one needs additional stress in today's world by being judged by someone who doesn't know our situation.  We don't own anyone an explanation.  Stay safe!

May 21, 2020 07:05 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376


I also agree with Debe ;I am a highly allergic person and find a mask actually helps me in compating pollutants, pollens,and viruses. I even had a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine but not enough not to advise anyone not to receive it as it protects us from this deadly virus. 

My sister also needs oxygen to survive as she has COPD and can hardly walk to the bathroom but would not dream of going our side in public without a mask 

There are too many germs . Please be safe and get another opinion.

Mar 20, 2021 12:48 PM