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Mask Wearing In Shared Public Spaces Still Not Done Right: Why?

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, and LGBT advocacy.

Can We Try To Put Them On, Please?


Let's Just Start With Wearing Masks At All, Okay?

So my youngest daughter and I dashed off to a local store yesterday to grab some bathroom supplies in a move she called "an attempt to organize our lives." Really, it was just to brighten up our bathroom, but I digress. While there, as we were trying to find said bathroom supplies, I glanced up from where I was looking down the aisle and stopped short.

There, with a face as bare as a baby's naked butt, was a fellow shopper with nary a mask or face covering in sight. Now, over the past Groundhog Day of a year, I've gotten used to seeing people wearing a range of face coverings in a range of ways, and I've even become OK with people wearing what has been called the Mingle Mask - the clear plastic shield that covers your mouth - even though medical experts have, according to CBC, said these are not really sufficient in a world where a droplet-born infection has become our daily concern. It is, at least, something, right?

However, it's been a very long year since we started playing this COVID game. We have been told on multiple occasions how to wear a freakin' mask. While I certainly appreciate some individuals have breathing issues that might make wearing a mask difficult, if not impossible, I would think that given there are now two COVID-19 variants out in the world and certainly in Ontario, extra precautions would have been taken.

For instance, I would have reconsidered my need to actually go out if I couldn't wear a mask in the store. As independent as I am, I may not have liked not being able to go to a store, but those with other health concerns that would either put them at greater risk or that would leave them unable to wear a mask have made those considerations throughout the year. There have also been several alternatives that have cropped up for those who can't necessarily be in public because of those medical reasons, such as store pick up, where someone in-store does your groceries and contacts you when they're ready, or online options like Instacart. If you can't wear a mask in store when there's a mask mandate in effect, should you actually be there?

Also, there are still individuals who are wearing masks, but their noses are hanging out or they're wearing the mask like a chin strap beard. The best comparison I've ever heard for doing this is a meme I saw in the early stages of the pandemic, which compared improper mask-wearing to leaving your genitalia hanging out of your underwear in public. Now, one would assume we all know how to wear our underwear appropriately, right? Everything goes inside the fabric. Why can't we figure out proper mask-wearing yet?

I also get that some little kids might struggle somewhat with keeping everything under the mask, but the fact of the matter is, I've seen a lot of kids younger than the age of 5 who have worn masks for a long time and in many cases, better than adults. If these little guys can wear a mask appropriately, why can't an adult? I'm talking a grown person who has no cognitive or developmental disorders who may not necessarily understand the necessity of wearing one or who simply cannot wear one due to the excess stimulation it provides, not an adult who has gone on to live on their own or have a family without significant issue.

The mask goes over the nose and under the chin. It's as simple as that, and if you're concerned that perhaps the mask is not enough, depending on your line of work, there are also safety glasses or shields to protect yourself more effectively that you can use with the mask. It shouldn't be around your chin, hanging off your ear, or only covering your mouth. Over the nose and under the chin - that's it.

I also get that there are quite a few individuals who argue against mask wearing because they've endured trauma of various stripes through the years. I've survived sexual assault - twice - and because I am told by medical experts, the government, and my employers I need to wear a mask in order to stay healthy and reduce my risk of getting COVID-19 while on the job, I put the thing on. I also wear a shield, which is a bit more uncomfortable because I have a large head and the strap squeezes. I also wear the mask and the shield because I have to show my kids that it's important to do that right now. Yes, they are nearly-12 and 16 and really have their own minds, but I can't look at them and tell them to wear a mask if I don't do that myself, can I?

So, folks, can we finally get the message and wear a mask - preferably properly - when we're in stores and other closed locations? If you're working or shopping, you need to wear the thing and wear it right.

It's been a year. Figure it out.


E Randall from United States on February 02, 2021:

Thanks for posting this, some folks still don't get it.

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