I’ve been scaring myself into the middle of next year. All it took was reading speculations in the press about new realities facing us as the economy begins to open up.
Here’s what frightens me . . .
• No spectator sports in big stadiums.
•Colleges and universities gravitating to online classes entirely.
• Social distancing for the rest of our lives.
• Stores and eateries taking your temperature before allowing you to go through their doors.
• Wearing a mask in public all the time.
That last prediction bothers me more than any of the others. On my last few grocery/prescription runs, wearing something over my mouth (can they make up their }%^* minds whether it’s for our own or everyone else’s protection?!) left me with a bad taste.
My N95 mask made me feel guilty, certain I would be arrested by mask cops for using something that should be reserved for doctors and nurses. However, I would have to tell the arresting officer I retrieved it from our basement where it had been stored since 2016, left behind by my cousin’s hospice nurses. I couldn’t find an expiration date but it sure smells bad…like maybe it was folded on the floor of a sweatshop in India. Or maybe the smell is just basement B. O. mixed with my bad breath.
Anyway, the N95 fogged up my glasses and made me hyperventilate.
When I ran out today, I debated which mask to wear…the used N95, a pretty little mask a book client sent in the mail or a scarf that matched my top.
I have a thing about color coordination. Just ask my friends. Boy do I have them fooled. They think I always look like I am ready for a photo shoot—jewelry perfectly mated with clothing.
In keeping up that dubious facade, I decided to color coordinate today’s trip out of the house.
This attempt to make a fashion statement while complying with citizen PPE protocols failed miserably.
I could never get the hang of all those scarf tying videos that circulated years ago. All I ever managed was a big, balled-up knot in the center of my chest. Never succeeded with a graceful drape of any kind. Especially not today.
Tried tying it behind my head. To one side. To the back. But no matter which way I tried to tie it, it kept sliding down my danged short nose. Every time I put it back up there, I wondered what that hand had just touched, and if I could last without being contaminated until I got to the hand sanitizer in the car. And wondered if it’s safe to use hand sanitizer on your face.
Then wondered how cool it would be to keep a scarf in place with potato chip clips.
Here are two more observations gleaned from today’s grocery outing:
1. Just when you put mask in place and head for the store doors is the exact moment your nose needs picking or scratching.
2. OMG, is that how bad my breath smells all the time?
By the time I finally got out of the store, after several brushes with potential social distancing death, I knew with total certainty the absolute best use for my scarf/ mask.
P.S. Forgot a few observations.
A. As one who has a lifetime habit of looking at everyone’s mouth and teeth while they talk, I see the permanent use of masks in social settings as impending disaster. Maybe I should wear my hearing aids out in public, because watching someone’s lips has always been insurance that I can decipher what they’re saying. And no, it is not a personality defect that I can’t look you in the eye.
B. My iPhone does not recognize me in a mask.
C. My husband does not recognize a military friend in WalMart until the guy is already speed-walking down the next aisle.
D. In considering the future apparel trends in mask wearing, I’m going to follow the fashionistas in Kenya. They’re already way ahead of us, as is obvious with this photo my book client from that country posted yesterday.