America's Last Masker Gives Self COVID

ASHLAND, OR — The last known person in America to wear a face mask has finally contracted the coronavirus after sneezing on himself. 

Harold "Halitosis Harry" Mulligan, a longtime "sextuple-boosted” germaphobe, was doggedly donning not one, not two, but three face masks anytime he stepped outside his sterilized apartment.

Harry also used nasal plugs to prevent any foreign bodies from entering his hypochondriacal nostrils. Or so he thought. Harry claims that a sneeze exploded from him like a cannon blast after he ingested a fiery jalapeño. "My nose is always covered or plugged, but I ate a jalapeño and it went into my nose through my mouth. I then sneezed back into my closed mouth and the pressure just blew out the plugs!" Harry explained through a sniffle.

Dr. Maureen Kirschner, Harry's perplexed physician, is still baffled how the virus managed to infiltrate Harry's fortress of preventive measures. "We have teams of virologists trying to recreate the jalapeño-induced, sneeze-propelled scenario in the lab," she said, struggling to keep a straight face.

Catching COVID might be the best thing that ever happened to Mulligan. Harry's excessive caution led to weekly, then daily, then hourly sessions with a psychiatrist for his germophobia and OCD. But since the jalapeno incident, an amazing transformation occurred.

"Harry canceled all his appointments with me," said Dr. Sigourney Fizzwig, his psychiatrist. "He claimed he'd achieved a state of nirvana since catching the virus and was no longer afraid of germs or touching doorknobs without gloves on. The only thing he now fears is the salsa at the local Mexican joint."

There have been other positive twists in Harry's life since overcoming mask-mania. Harry's long-time friend Tina severed ties with him due to his extreme hand-washing and covering everything in sanitary plastic, including blankets, pillows, and disposable silverware already made of plastic. Recently, she reached out to him. "I always told Harry that he needed to get out more, but I didn't mean it quite so literally. I'm glad he's okay, and I hope he realizes that life isn't just about avoiding germs," she said with a giggle.

It seems the last masked man in America has taught us all a valuable lesson - sometimes it takes catching a global pandemic to overcome one's fears. Hats off to you Harry, or should we say, masks off!