This post was written by Letty
The New Normal Blog 2 in which our intrepid Observer delves into the murky world of mask wearers and confronts the prejudices of the Naked Facers. There’s also a bit about getting your hair cut.
OK, so what bit about wearing a mask do people not understand and why does the wearing of one provoke such animosity from the Naked Facers?
Let’s look at some of the NF arguments.
“I am not sick so why should I wear a mask?”
Well, here we go. Wearing a mask is not about you being sick, it is about preventing others from getting sick. Yeah, remember OTHERS? Granted, in order to be completely effective we all need to wear one. In Stockholm it is a lonely experience, although it does achieve one goal. Most people tend to avoid you. Others, mystifyingly, seem to take it as a personal affront, muttering imprecations as they pass by. Thankfully I am unmoved as I don’t understand what they are saying.
“I can’t breathe with a mask on.”
If you contract COVID-19, you won’t be able to breathe at all, so it’s good practice. Anyway what sort of mask are you wearing? Have you got access to front line PPE or are you sporting a relic from World War 2?
“It’s proven that they don’t protect anyone.”
Yes that’s why wearing them is compulsory in some countries and Anthony Fauci, one of the world’s leading experts on infection and diseases, is always seen wearing one. To be fair though, he could be using it to disguise the horror on his face as he stands behind The Donald. No, no you are right. People only wear masks for a laugh. It’s a COVID-19 Caper!
“I’m not Asian.”
No response required. Just remove this person from your life immediately.
“I am not a foreigner. They are the only ones with masks. Swedes don’t need them.”
I am not in a risk category, I am not neurotic, I do go out. I have a sort of life, not like the pre-COVID-19 one but still not too bad. I am aware that there is a nasty virus out there and I do not want to get it or give it to someone else. It makes me feel better to wear a mask in certain situations and I wish that others would do the same.
Supermarkets are an excellent example of where masks should be worn, especially as people do not seem to understand the BIG YELLOW markings on the floor.
Yesterday, masked and gloved a la Gerry Adams ( Irish joke), I was in the COOP balancing on a shelf. If you are a person of restrictive growth i.e. A Celt, it is an impossibility to reach the Diet Coke. The bottles are on the top shelf and tightly packed. In other countries you may get assistance from a passing shopper or, in extreme circumstances, a member of staff but, here in the land of non-intrusion, they just look at you as you risk life and limb for your comestibles.
Anyway, that is, maybe, a subject for another day. Having secured my bottle and nearly broken my arm in the process, I stumbled over a risk category shopper who was literally glued to my back. Masks do somewhat impede communication so I had to satisfy myself with an outraged glare. She was unperturbed as so many are. Swedish inscrutability.
Hairdressers are another example of a mask-wearing opportunity which is being missed. I have two hairdressers, not because I am greedy but because only one of them can actually cut hair. Hairdresser 1 can do colour and she is very good at it but, after going to her twice to get my locks shorn, it became apparent that she erred too much on the side of caution when wielding the scissors. There was so little taken off that you could count the hairs on the floor.
She wasn’t wearing a mask, although, given what she charged, she should have been. She assured me that she was not sick and that everything was sanitised. I did not feel assured but nodded enthusiastically. This is a typical Irish reaction. We never like to openly express our true feelings.
Let Me Demonstrate.
Location: Somewhere in Ireland.
Two characters: A waiter and a customer.
Waiter: ” Did you enjoy your meal Madam?”
(Customer pauses momentarily as if in thought. The audience hears her answer as a voice-over. Evidently she is thinking this rather than saying it.)
“What do you think? That’s why I left it all on my plate. Of course, I didn’t enjoy it. You wouldn’t serve this to a dog. Did your Chef lose his smell and sense of taste when he got the COVID-19?”
Customer ( smiling at waiter) : ” Oh yes it was lovely thanks. I’m just not that hungry. How much would you like for a tip?”
Hairdresser number 2 was conflicted. She donned a mask to cut my fringe because that “seemed to make sense to her.” Well at least she was trying and she is a great cutter so all is forgiven. A bit of infection is a small price to pay for a good hairstyle. I hear you but it is my blog and I can be as illogical as I want.
But here’s the kicker. Whatever about ordinary mortals choosing to mask or not, surely to God the Medics should wear them. Is it not socially and morally reprehensible not to protect the people who are on the front line of the virus? I believe everyone who is in constant contact with the General Public should be provided with masks to minimise the risk of infection.
People have to work but why should they be exposed to unnecessary risk? However, it is inconceivable to me that those who are dealing with potentially infected patients should not be wearing PPE. My husband is part of a programme where people are asked to sign up for COVID-19 and antibody tests on a voluntary basis. The other day he was talking to me about his experience and he mentioned, in passing, that none of the staff was wearing masks. I was stunned.
Is this not shocking or am I living in a parallel Universe? I mean what is going on? Why don’t they just line us up and shoot us? It would be quicker. At least protect those who are trying to protect us.
I am boring myself here.
One final word of advice to those considering taking the plunge. Having ensured that your mask is sterile, remember to place it over your mouth and nose. Wearing it dangling from one ear or jauntily on your chin, will definitely not be effective. Taking it on and off to speak to people or sip your cocktail, is also counter-productive.
On the plus side for us who wear make-up, think of all the money you will be saving on lippy!
Born in 1957 when dinosaurs roamed the earth and televisions were black and white.
Teenage years. Counting pimples, writing valentine cards to myself, dodging bombs in war torn Belfast. Waiting to be invited to the party.
Adulthood. I am the party. Developing a talent for addiction, unfortunate choices and bad hairstyles.
Discovering that work is a necessary evil and that marriage is a life sentence without the satisfaction of murder.
Embracing contraception with enthusiasm until a dodgy diaphragm left me embracing my son.
No more work
No more husband
No more Belfast
Much more Stockholm
Much more love
Much more me.