Why I’m a forever-masker

It’s about freedom

There’s a lot of noise that masks restrict freedoms, or cause negative health outcomes. There’s even more noise at the notion we’ll have to continue masking through 2022 or even beyond. In short, there’s a clamoring to return to the normalcy of seeing each other’s mouths and teeth again.

But I must confess, the thought of continued masking makes me personally ecstatic. Over the past year I’ve found the conveniences of wearing a mask outweigh the detractions. I’ve compiled a list of some of the benefits that have convinced me to continue mask wearing into the future, even after the coronavirus subsides.

Photo by Brian Asare on Unsplash

1. My eyes are my strongest feature, and masks are a powerful accessory to highlight this. I’ve never felt more beautiful, powerful, or mysterious while walking my dogs in the morning.

2. No mask means no make-up, which I haven’t worn since March 2020. Frankly, I love it and my skin does too.

3. Cold mornings no longer mean cold face.

4. I no longer have to deal with comments about ‘resting bitch face’ or being asked to smile by random strangers in public while I’m actually deep in thought about what brand of cereal bar I want to buy for my kiddo this week and frankly, that’s refreshing.

5. Not only have I not gotten COVID, I’ve also not gotten any colds or the flu in the past year, and I really love that for myself. In fact, last year we suppressed the flu through increased mitigation strategies of washing hands, staying distanced, and — you guessed it — wearing masks. For all our sakes I hope we all continue to mask (and stay distant!) when we feel ill.

6. You know that feeling when you travel by air or bus and then the next day feel absolutely awful with a cruddy cough and ringing headache? Have you ever thought about how many people catch their flights while sick? Let’s be honest, for our own sake’s, none of us should get on an airplane maskless again.

7. With the rise in facial-recognition technology, wearing a mask is a provides a greater level of (at least temporary) privacy. For anyone who cares about freedoms, surely this is of high concern.

8. I like pretending I’m a secret agent. That’s only tangentially related to reason #7.

9. Masking breaks norms, which is ultimately freeing. Freeing from rigid social ideas about how one ‘should’ appear; freeing from unnecessary comments and judgments from strangers; freeing from the feeling of being recognized everywhere.

As we approach 2022 I’ll happily show off my glowing face again, but I don’t see myself giving up my mask in crowded and compact places, during travel, on cold days, or when I’m sick. And I haven’t even mentioned the most obvious — and important — benefit:

10. They help save lives.

There’s a reason the flu (which is less contagious than COVID) has been suppressed for a year. There’s a reason in eastern countries, masking has been cited as a key factor in slowing COVID. Simply put, they help slow the spread of illness. And a healthier society is a freer society.

So here’s to masks and the ways they help protect us, now and into the future.

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