• Westish Contributor

Denver’s Mask Mandate Embraced by Adults in Braces

By Kate Strobel Denver citizens will be required to wear face coverings beginning May 6th—a mandate that is forcing many of the city’s current maskless residents to take a long, hard look (at the top half of their faces) in the mirror. The public-health order has not been well received by many egocentric locals who “don’t wanna” wear a mask in public because they like the rush that comes with a blatant disregard for the well-being of others. Despite the mixed reception, there is one demographic that has embraced the new ruling with open jaws: adults with braces. Orthodontia became a part of Kari Robertson’s life last year after—at age 42—she was able to pay off her student loan debt and afford corrective braces for the first time in her life. Denver’s mask requirement has been a blessing for Kari, providing her with newfound confidence in public spaces. “I’m not ashamed of being a middle-aged woman with braces, but people stare and it makes dating difficult,” said the Denver native. “Since I’ve been wearing masks in public, a man’s gaze made it down to my breasts for the first time in a year and it helped remind me that it’s much better to be alone!” Meanwhile, local eighth grader and frequent bully victim, Sam Parks—who just had his braces removed last week—had only this to say: “This is bullshit!”

Kate Strobel is a stand-up comedian, writer, and voice actor based in Denver, CO

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