Florence was shopping at the grocery store when she noticed that a person in the same shopping aisle as she was not wearing a face mask. “Hey, you need to wear a face mask!” She shouted angrily.
The man looked at her and said in a polite tone of voice, “I have asthma, madam. I am exempted from wearing a face mask.”
“Oh, I am sorry, sir,” Florence said; she felt like an idiot because she wrongfully thought that the man was one of those people who blatantly refused to wear a face mask as a sign of protest.
The man smiled at her and said, “It is okay, my dear. I get that sort of thing all of the time. As a matter of fact, someone threw a box of cornflakes at me in this grocery store last week for not wearing a face mask.”
“What did you do?” Florence asked with a surprised look on her face.
“I told them the same thing that I said to you,” The man said. “The person who threw the box of cornflakes at me apologized.”
“I am sorry that I misjudged you,” Florence said.
“Apology accepted,” The man said. “The funny thing is that people will continue to misjudge me for not wearing a face mask.” He picked up a large bottle of coffee from off of the shelf and placed it in his trolley and said, “I am glad that we had this chat. I am betting that you will not be too quick to judge others from now on.”
Florence laughed and said, “You are right about that, sir. I would not be too quick to judge others from now on. By the way, can I ask you one more question?”
The man looked at his wristwatch and said, “Sure. I have time for one more question.”
“How have you managed to keep so calm with all of the misjudging and mistreatment?” Florence asked.
“I am a Catholic priest,” The man said. “I forgive others daily for their transgressions.”
Florence was speechless; she was deeply embarrassed about being disrespectful to a Catholic priest earlier on.
The man said, “Do enjoy the rest of your day,” and began rolling his trolley towards the direction of the closest cashier.
Too Many Of Us Are Quick To Judge Others
Like Florence, too many of us are quick to place our judgement on others.
If we see someone wearing a face mask, we may think that the person is doing their part in combating the spread of COVID-19.
And, if we see a person not wearing a face mask, we might come to the conclusion that the person is willfully going against the rules.
What a lot of people have failed to consider is that the person who is not wearing a mask might be one of those people who suffer from asthma.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following types of people should not wear face masks:
- Children that are younger than two years of age.
- Anyone who has any sort of trouble breathing.
- Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove their face mask without assistance.
So, my friend, the wearing of face masks is not for everyone.
Do Face Masks Prevent Us From Getting COVID-19?
Now, it all depends on whom you ask.
If you ask someone who believes that COVID-19 is all a hoax, they will tell you, “No!”
And if you ask almost anyone who believes that the COVID-19 threat is real, they will probably say to you, “Yes, wearing face masks will prevent you from getting COVID-19.”
In all honesty, a surgical face mask is not quite as effective as an N95 face mask (Which is the reason why N95 face masks are reserved for health-care professionals).
The average person will be seen in public with a simple-looking surgical face mask, or a simple-looking (or a stylish-looking) face mask; one that is made of a breathable fabric.
Also, what a lot of us have failed to realize is that those face masks will be ineffective if:
- Our reusable face masks are not cleaned properly.
- Our face mask hangs too loosely on our face.
- Our face mask only covers our mouth (You and I both know that face masks are supposed to cover our nose and our mouth).
I have seen my fair share of people wearing face masks that fit loosely on their faces as well as those people wearing a face mask that covered only their mouths (Which is ridiculous because they can still breathe in the dreaded coronavirus through their exposed nostrils).
And, I would not doubt the fact, that there are some people wearing contaminated reusable face masks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an article called, How to Wash Masks (Anyone who has an interest in cleaning reusable face masks the right way should read it thoroughly).
The Face Mask Industry Is Thriving
I am not at all surprised that people are flooding the market with reusable face masks that are stylish (People are scared of getting COVID-19 and they want to look good when they are outdoors).
If you do not believe me, you can have look at Kristen Philipkoski’s article, 30+ Fashion Brands Pivoting To Make Stylish Coronavirus Masks (Hopefully, it would convince you that I am telling the truth about the thriving face mask industry).
Those of you with Pinterest accounts may have come across pictures of women wearing gorgeous-looking outfits with matching face masks.
Companies like Amazon and Etsy have also jumped on the bandwagon; they intend on selling some of those stylish-looking face masks online (And, I have a strong feeling, that they are going to make a lot of money by following through with that decision of theirs).
Apparently, having a stylish-looking face mask for each day of the week is part of the new normal.
How Long Will People Have To Wear Their Face Masks In Public?
The truth is that epidemiologists are not one hundred percent sure as to how long we will have to wear those face masks of ours for (Some of them are hoping for the creation of a COVID-19 vaccine by the year, 2021).
So, it looks as though you and I will have to wear face masks until COVID-19 dies down on its own or a cure for it is created in a well-sanitized laboratory in some part of the world.
You have probably heard the rumour about Bill Gates wanting to depopulate the planet by giving people a vaccine — a vaccine that supposedly makes people sterile and creates a whole new set of health problems for those who take it.
In all honesty, I am somewhat fed up with wearing face masks in public (I am only wearing them because COVID-19 poses a threat to people’s lives) and I am not too eager to take the vaccination for COVID-19 when it comes out.
Here in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, we are expected to wear face masks when:
- We are shopping at the grocery store.
- We are travelling on public transport.
- We are walking about in public.
- We are in a clothing store.
- We are paying a visit to the dentist.
- We are paying a visit to the doctor.
- We are conducting financial transactions at the bank.
The biggest irony is that we will wear our face masks for the reasons that were mentioned above. But, a large number of us will refuse to wear face masks in our very own neighbourhood; we tend to comply with the rules of wearing face masks when we are outside of our own neighbourhood (It is as though the people do not believe that COVID-19 has infiltrated (or will ever infiltrate) their own community).
COVID-19 has turned the whole world upside down and those in authority expect everyone to comply by wearing face masks; which is something that all well-behaved members of society will gladly do.
I would like to wake up from this nightmare — the one that is commonly referred to as, “The new normal,” and see a world without any traces of COVID-19.