An Open Letter About That Mask
Wearing a mask without covering the nose is like wearing gloves with holes to let fingers out. If we're going to wear masks, we should be wearing them the right way.
As I was out shopping last weekend, I noticed four people just in one store who were walking around with their noses out.
There was a sign on the front door of the store that said masks were required to enter so they obeyed that rule, but after a few minutes walking around the store, they had managed to pull the mask pulled down to rest underneath their noses. The mouth was covered, but the nose was bare, which meant one unexpected sneeze and their droplets could be headed my way.
I know masks aren't comfortable. I like wearing them about as much as I like getting my eyebrows waxed, but I endure that pain because it's the right thing to do. I've heard the arguments about mask mandates creeping too much into personal space and I understand, but I also tend to think it's a very simple and temporary thing to do to try to kick the virus to the curb. Although I don't want fabric on my face, I'll put it there out of respect for the rules.
It's hard to breathe under a mask. My ears get tired of holding it on my face. Once it's positioned in at least a semi-comfortable spot with a little bit of airflow, it starts riding up my nose and needs to be resituated. Sometimes it reaches my eyelashes and makes me blink. And then I think of the news stories I saw on TV in January about the problems they were having with some new virus in China and they had to wear masks, and I can't believe that those same germs have traveled the globe and I'm part of that story now. It's all insane.
I think it's safe to say we all hope masks go away soon. But since it's unlikely that will magically happen, the least we can do is show a little kindness to each other and pull the masks up over our noses. The sooner we do that, the sooner we might be able to get back to having naked faces again, and fellow customers in the stores will be able to tell if we're smiling or not.
Oh, and can we make hats that guarantee a 6-foot separation? Wide-rimmed headpieces may make it easier to keep a social distance. We'll be watching for those next.