While supermarket shopping on Sunday, I thought I had missed a memo.
Of the people I encountered while walking through the store, I saw about six without masks.
Earlier in the weekend while walking through a mall, I lost count of the number of people without masks.
Had I missed an important announcement about the easing of mask-wearing rules?
Anecdotally, people are getting more complacent about mask wearing.
Observations made on Friday around lunchtime showed 29 of 70 shoppers seen entering retail and food outlets in downtown Tauranga were not wearing face masks.
In Rotorua at the same time, about a quarter of people entering shops along Pukuatua, Tutanekai and Eruera Sts were wearing masks.
It's been 336 days since Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's August 18 announcement face masks would be mandatory for people over 12 when accessing essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies, dairies and service stations.
In the early days after the announcement, I would sometimes forget my mask and have to go home and fetch one, but I learned I needed to place one at work, in my car, or handbag, and have spares in other places just in case.
It takes only 21 days to form a habit, so there are no more excuses. Mask wearing should be a well-ingrained habit.
And it is an important one now more than ever.
Daily Covid-19 cases are consistently near 10,000. Monday's seven-day rolling average of cases is 9689 while it was 9281 at the same time last week. And last week director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said only half of all cases were believed to be reported.
Bloomfield acknowledged mask use across the country was suboptimal and urged people to recommit.
"Mask wearing should be like wearing a seatbelt," he said.
New Zealand is in its first winter with Covid-19 widespread in the community, along with a raft of other seasonal nasties.
Almost everyone I talk to has had their workplaces hard hit by flu, Covid and gastro bugs.
Things are going around and wearing a mask is one way to stop or slow their spread.
It can be annoying wearing a mask, especially for glasses wearers such as myself, but if it stops the spread of bugs, it needs to be done.
I believe it's time attitudes to wearing masks changed.