Along the Way: So long, farewell for face masks? – Green Valley News

Shaking elbows or bumping fists with friends reminds a person of one of the solemn questions of the day:

Whither the mask?

When skies are blue again and we overcome the great Covid plague — as we surely will — what purpose can there be for these face masks we have worn?

The thing that we have entrusted to safeguard us from the dreaded scourge will become about as useless as carbon paper, typewriter ribbon or a typewriter, for that matter. (Try to find one of those.)

In a safe and healthy world the face mask will be as necessary as 3-D movie glasses at a regular movie, a shaving brush when you use electric, rabbit ears when your TV doesn’t have a place for them, or a propeller when you have neither airplane nor boat.

The mask has done wonders in mobilizing us against a threat, however vague, and thus has been a symbol of defiance and hope.

But in general we hate to wear the blasted thing.

It is uncomfortable, it makes our ears stick out and it’s a slap in the face at what life in 2022 should be. Namely, safe.

Years ago, a friend of mine retired to Green Valley and a friend of his did something amazing with dozens of my pal’s tie-it-yourself bow ties — she sewed them beautifully into a quilt.

I don’t know whether a mask-quilt would be as attractive (I doubt it) but that might be better than burning them.

Masks have been part of a binge-caution we’ve engaged in, along with repeated hand-washing and staying six feet away from others in check-out lines. And staying home, period. We’ve placed ourselves in quarantine, isolation, confinement, whatever you wish to call it.

And when we did venture out, the mask was like perpetual combat conditions fighting the pandemic, as well as a reminder to other people that they should also mask-up if they hadn’t already.

Mandates are being relaxed, thank goodness. But there well may be another day, another unholy dread.

In which case masks that haven’t been burned — or sewn into a quilt — may find their use a necessity once more.

I can think of no better use for them, to be honest, than what they’ve shown to be so good at: catastrophizing.

Corky Simpson is a veteran journalist who writes a column for the Green Valley News.

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