Why I Love Wearing a Mask

Roz Warren

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Some folks complain about wearing a mask, while others refuse to wear one at all. Not me. I love wearing a mask. Why?

I Enjoy Being Inscrutable

When I’m out for a walk and another person approaches, I always feel obligated to greet them with a smile or other friendly expression.

Women, in particular, are expected to always smile and look cheerful.

Wearing a mask changes all that. Now all you can see are my eyes.

Am I grinning? Frowning?

You’ll never know.

(And let’s face it. How I’m feeling is really none of your dang business.)

It’s a pleasure to be able to abandon the usual requirement that I slap a smile on my face and instead remain unreadable.

You can even make faces at people while wearing a mask and nobody is the wiser. I’ve been really enjoying sticking my tongue out at certain neighbors on my daily walk.

Especially the jerks down the block who just threw a mammoth party in defiance of social distancing guidelines.

I Don’t Have to Wear Sunblock

I hate wearing sunblock on my face because I can’t stand the smell. Now, thanks to my mask and visored cap, my face is entirely protected from the sun.

Problem solved!

It keeps My Face Warm

Now that winter is here, my mask gives me extra protection from the cold and wind. I don't know if it's for health or comfort, but I've noticed that a lot more of my neighbors are wearing masks outdoors these days too.

A Mask Can Be a Way To Express Yourself

As Lance Burson recently put it:

My wife gave me a really cool blue face mask and my gloves match so, leaving the house everyday looking like SubZero from Mortal Kombat is making me feel like this new normal is 100 percent badass.

“I feel like an anarchist in a steampunk dystopia wearing my mask,” says Dove Calderwood.

"I love wearing masks with my kids," said another pal. "It makes us feel like a bunch of superheros."

And if you don’t want to engage in character cosplay, but just want to make people smile? You can wear a mask with a silly slogan like “Will Remove for Chocolate,” Ventriloquist in Training,” or This Is The Biggest Game of Cooties I’ve Ever Seen.

A mask can also provide social commentary or express a political point of view. Yesterday, on my daily walk, I wore my This Was Preventable mask with my Black Lives Matter cap.

Which means that not only can you can tell where I’m coming from politically, but if I see that you’re wearing a MAGA hat and not wearing a mask, I can stick my tongue out at you — behind my mask — with impunity.

I Feel Safer

Even though masking is more about protecting you from my COVID Cooties than protecting me from yours, wearing a mask does provide me with, as they say “minimal protection.”

And covering my nose and mouth when I’m out among the sneezing, coughing public just feels safer.

Wearing a Mask Means I Care

Wearing a mask not only means I don’t want to get COVID, but that I don’t want you (or anyone else in my community) to get COVID either.

It also signals that I protected all of us last November by voting in a presidential candidate who believes in responding to a pandemic with science rather than magical thinking.

And if you didn't figure that out by the fact that I’m practicing social distancing and wearing a mask?

The fact that it’s an "I Voted for Joe. You're Welcome face mask might help.

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Roz Warren, the author of JUST ANOTHER DAY AT YOUR LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARY, has appeared on both the Today Show and Morning Edition, writes for everyone from the Funny Times to the New York Times, and has been included in 13 Chicken Soup for the Soul collections. Drop her a line at roSwarren@gmail.com.

Bala Cynwyd, PA
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