*This piece is written satirically.
If this pandemic has done one thing right, it has been bringing the habit of wearing face masks into style. I’ve found no greater joy than slipping on a face mask to complete my outfit and protect myself from the bitterly cold winter we are facing, let alone its efficacy in decreasing transmission rates of several unfavorable diseases.
So with the country beginning to distribute vaccinations to tackle COVID-19 more rapidly, many suggest there is hope that we’ll eventually make it out of this long, dark tunnel. However, does the end of the pandemic signal that we should no longer wear face masks? I would have to disagree.
Let me ask you a question. Have you heard of anyone that has actually gotten the flu this season? I haven’t either. Between the flu and cooties, maybe we should keep wearing masks since they are reasonable at reducing transmission of many droplet-based illnesses.
More importantly, consider our physical appearances. Someone could be dealing with a bad acne breakout or could have forgotten to brush their teeth. Maybe someone got a nose piercing their parents told them not to get and now they have to hide it. Whatever insecurities someone has about their face, it can easily be taken care of with a mask. Can a mask hide every flaw one may have? Probably not, but it can at least provide some relief going outside to face the world. People will no longer have to worry about their appearances when hidden behind the mask and can instead enhance it with a new pattern every day.
What could be even more important than someone’s health is their privacy. As technology continues to evolve, people’s privacy is increasingly becoming harder to maintain. Cameras everywhere can spy on anyone and track facial features without them knowing. With a mask however, people can prevent cameras from analyzing their every move. Now, we can go out in public without fear of the government watching us. Cameras cannot use facial recognition if a mask is obscuring the target. In this technological age, privacy is important and masks are one way to ensure that people can prevent themselves from being tracked.
Masks can be used for much more than preventing the COVID-19. Out of hands but want something to eat a snack out of? Wear a mask. Need an extra accessory for your outfit? Wear a mask. Planning on invading the Capitol building? Should probably wear a mask. So when the world eventually returns to normal, it’s my wish that nothing stops us from wearing masks.