In the grip of mask hysteria

A year ago, if someone was spotted putting on a mask before entering, say, a bank, they would have called the cops.

Now, the cops might get called if someone enters barefaced.

I’m not sure I like this new world where we are anonymous to one another. A crinkle of the eyes is all we can see of a big smile anymore. The cues we always took from facial expressions are obscured by a piece of cloth or paper.

Personally, I don’t mind strong recommendations (as opposed to edicts) to cover my nose and mouth. And stay home or at least six feet away from everybody else? I’m quite an introvert. I can live with that.

The face-covering debate is, you might recall, actually a bait-and-switch from a more serious discussion we were having before mask mandates diverted our attention.

I was shocked earlier this year when apparatchiks used “the science” to force private businesses to close, as if educated people were disinclined to protect their customers and instead had to abandon their means of making a living. The economy had to shut down for the greater good, whether it really was a good thing or not.

In the end, it’s fruitless to try to discuss this calmly. As with so many other everyday issues, lines have been drawn and emotions will run too high, and anyway the water is under the bridge and the ships have sailed.

I’m just here to say I miss smiles, and I miss mouths agape with astonishment or glee, and I miss watching someone try to stay serious when all she wants to do is laugh out loud, and all the other delights of the bottom halves of our faces.

It’s to save millions of lives, after all, right?

Thousands have died, but it would have been so many more thousands if government hadn’t swooped to the rescue, right?

People are out of work and wondering where their next meal will come from, but at least they’re alive, for now, right?

Can you tell if I’m smiling?

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, a golden retriever named Dejah Thoris Princess of Mars, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

One thought on “In the grip of mask hysteria

  1. I can definitely agree with this post.

    I was very okay with precautions when we didn’t know much about the virus, but goodness gracious, we know so much more now! We know exactly who is at risk (older people, people with compromised immune systems) and who is not at risk of dying… and yet we still stick to the same strict regulations? Very strange.

    I miss smiling. I’m very quiet and it was really the only way I reached out to people when I went out. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

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