I flew to Florida to last week on a long-awaited vacation. I chose Florida because I knew the governor, Ron DeSantis, was just as exhausted from all the COVID-19 restrictions as we all are, and finally said, “Screw it. Everything’s open.”

All businesses, all restaurants, bars, stores, liquor stores, everything — open. Business as usual.

Unlike New Jersey, the State of Florida is on its way toward an economic recovery. There are still mask mandates in Florida, but a lot of people aren’t really strict about it and no one walks down the street wearing a mask — at least in South Florida, where I stayed, so it kind of felt like a pre-COVID heaven.

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There was still one hurdle to cross, however. As a person who does not believe in the efficacy of mask wearing to prevent COVID-19, I knew that I would nevertheless be required to wear a mask on the airplane. At the airport, besides for going through security, we were able to sit at a table at a restaurant to avoid the dreaded mask-wearing while waiting for our flight.

On the plane, I realized that anybody who is drinking or eating anything could not be forced to pull the mask up. And so I spent the entire flight slowly drinking large bottles of water and eating small finger foods — snack foods like peanuts, popcorn and trail mix. And, of course, after a few bites of one of these salty foods, anyone would need a sip of cold water.

The flight down to Florida was 2 1/2 hours and I managed to consume a couple of bags of trail mix and a couple of bottles of water. After all that water, I did have to visit the rest room a few times and while walking down the aisle to get there, of course, I had to be a good soldier and pull the mask over my nose and mouth. But other than that, in my seat while eating and drinking, I felt free as a bird to chew, swallow, drink — and, yes, breathe — in the comfort of my airline seat.

I’m not saying this will work for everyone and I’m not suggesting that you break the rules. But if you’re like me and you get extremely claustrophobic with a mask on, perhaps this strategy can work for you too.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi’s own.

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