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Opinion: We all wear masks…

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Chuck Doud, donning his own PPE (Personal Protecive Equipment).


On Saturday, I walked into a drugstore and saw a woman I thought I knew.

“Hello, Mr. Doud,” she said.

Her voice sounded a little familiar, but she was wearing a facemask, as many of us do, so I said, “Well, how are you?”

I’m just fine,” she said.

“That’s a nice facemask you’ve got there,” I said. “You could use it to hold up a bank.”

She chuckled, then proceeded into the depths of the drugstore.

I thought maybe I should get myself a mask, but they were out of them. “We’ll have some in a couple of days,” the drugstore clerk said.

Snooping around looking for a facemask brought back some memories. Back then, drugstores in small towns (I grew up in one such town) weren’t much different from the drugstores of today. My favorite drug store was called “Rexall,” and it had a soda fountain and a grill for hot dogs and hamburgers.

I would go in there and buy a comic book and read it word for word while sipping a Coke or munching on a hot dog. It never occurred to me to wear a mask.

I can still see the orange and blue neon sign outside the Rexall store, which had bike racks where we kids could park our Schwins and Roll-fasts.

During Christmastime, if I had any Christmas shopping to do, I would do it at the Rexall store.

I look back on that store and remember it as an affordable fun and convenient place.

The only time I would buy a mask back then would be at Halloween.

There was a time when we did wear masks, though. It was in the 1950s, when a polio epidemic was sweeping the country. We band of teenagers lucked out, however. None of us got sick. The masks seemed to work back then.

Let’s hope they work now.

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