They are now part of our lives. Like shoes, we now have to don one of these before we head out. I don’t disagree with this practice, but it certainly fits the bill of a “new” normal.
We have started to wear a mask when going outside for primarily grocery shopping. My immediate experience with them is the act of putting it on. It immediately felt restrictive. It is not the same as wearing a face covering toque while skiing or going out on a windy, winter day. Those are much more breathable than a mask that is suppose to filter microscopic drops of fluid. Your face immediately gets uncomfortably warm as you recycle more of your own breathes.
If put on loosely, the warm exhalation will escape and causes fogging on your glasses. It took me a couple of days to really experiment and find the best way to wear one so to minimize this effect. I have gotten it to be bearable but still not ideal.
When I check out of the store, simple acts like a smile when saying thank you can no longer be expressed fully. The concealments of such natural expression felt like I was deceiving the person that I’m communicating with. A thank you without a smile seemed incomplete. I wonder how prevalent future misunderstandings this will cause as our face to face interactions become more faceless. Will we be more angrier and less respectful of others like we are when we are in our cars to other drivers? Will this make us a less friendly society with less consideration for others? Will this make us less human to others? I certainly hope not but one has to wonder.
The physical act of checking out made me suddenly discovered that I can no longer use Face ID to authenticate Apple Pay. Luckily I still have my Apple Watch on hand. I know first world problems, but it really makes you realize how often you check your phone, from looking up contact information to monitoring simple notifications.
Aside from my unhelpful whining in regards to sporting one of these and looking like a typical Mortal Kombat character, I do support and believe that wearing one during the Covid-19 pandemic does help to limit the spread of the virus. However, I can’t help but wonder how society will change with this simple facial garment.
Perhaps this is all nothing as we all adjust to this new normal and it is no different than interacting with everyone on a cold blizzard day when everyone’s faces are concealed. However, something tells me that this will be more impactful. How do you feel about wearing a mask?