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Saturday, January 22, 2022

The Hidden Cost of Masking Up


The Hidden Cost of Masking Up

It seems to me that people are way less friendly than they used to be.  Airlines have seen a huge increase in belligerent passengers.  It has got to be the masks.

I have noticed that waitstaff at restaurants seem less friendly, and they rely on tips!  It has got to be the masks.

My son just told me about a pizza parlor owner busting his chops because he took a packet of hot peppers before his slices were ready for take-out.  It has got to be the masks.

In many States, and NJ is one, masks are required for all indoor venues.  There are several problems with these rules. 

First of all, it seems that unless you have the super protective N95 masks, they really don’t offer much protection.  That assertion is born out by the fact that people keep getting infected even though they are wearing masks.  Of course, most mask wearers don’t wear them correctly, often leaving their primary breather, the nose, uncovered…or they get in your face when talking and pull down the mask because no one can understand the mask-covered mumble.

So, wear a mask, no big deal, except some people just refuse.  What is a proprietor at a store, or an airline attendant to do when someone refuses to follow the rule?  Ignore it? Then they risk a fine or losing their job.  I imagine workers get pretty cranky having to police mask hating customers.  They probably develop an attitude after a while and do not police politely.  Fights often in sue.

So, wear a mask, no big deal, except there is always some asshole telling you that you are a sheep and masks do no good, or if you do not wear one there is the other asshole telling you that you are killing their grandmother!  Fights often in sue.

There are other problems with the mask.  Wear it for a long time and your breath stinks.  I found this out after a plane trip with Mrs. C.  When we landed she told me I need a piece of gum.  I said I didn’t want any gum. She said,

“You don’t understand, YOU NEED A PIECE OF GUM!”

We have to wear a mask in our bowling league, unless you are actively bowling, or eating, or drinking, so, only half the time.  While wearing the mask it is not a good idea to make conversation with the other team.  With a mask, facial expressions are hidden. I did not know how much facial expressions play a part in friendly conversation.

“Nice shot!” With a mask covered expression, can mean that was a nice shot, or that was a lucky shot, or that was actually a crappy shot.  Better to just say nothing.

Our bowling matches are less amicable than before the mask.

Look, the mask thing was a good idea, especially when we thought you could catch this thing if you just walked through a Covid exhalation cloud wafting in the air from the person less than 6 feet from you.  Maybe if we all had the correct masks, and we all wore them correctly and we wore them ALL the time, maybe they would be effective; but we don’t, we don’t know how, and we won’t…so.

Enough with the masks.  Wear them if you want.  Just like wearing a hat in the cold won’t protect you from a cold, and not cracking your knuckles has nothing to do with arthritis, and standing back from the TV won’t save you eyesight, it won’t hurt. 

Just don’t make it a law.  Especially a law that is almost impossible to enforce.

Whatever benefits there may be from wearing a mask (and the science is leaning towards very limited) in most situations, it is not worth the loss of civility those communication hindering, breath stinking, political dissention creating contraptions are causing.

At least they are nice outside in the winter when the wind chill is 15 degrees.




  1. I do wear a mask. I'm a rebel. I worked in surgery for almost 50yrs and when I first started wearing a mask I swore I couldn't hear as good as without one. But I love the mask. I could stick my tongue out at a surgeon and he or she wouldn't know it. It was a pain if I had a runny nose because I couldn't touch my face and snot would roll down your chin...too much info? sorry..not sorry. In surgery we could read each other's eyes and know exactly how we were feeling. (don't get caught rolling your eyes unless the surgeons' back is toward you. Not that I ever did that.) So perhaps the mask is why some surgeons and even nurses can be a@$h@*!^S. If it's true that masks don't really help maybe folks could ask the surgical team not to wear one in the OR. What's a little snot in an incision anyway? But really I do like the mask especially in Walmart. It may not save me from Covid but for some reason I feel like I have a shield around me from the weirdos that go there. And maybe they feel the same about me! Not to mention I've saved lots of money by not wearing makeup.

    1. I suspect there is a difference between snot bubbles and spit versus an aerosol virus in terms of mask effectiveness. Still if a mask provides a level of comfort that is fine. I wear one because I am told to, that doesn't mean I think they are much help. Walmartians don't wear them quite as well as trained health professionals in an OR.

  2. People sure are hot about the mask issue aren't they? I never say anything to someone about it for fear they may be armed. I mean that only halfways in jest. My termite inspector came in with out a mask. I had mine on, went outside and actually had a fun conversation with him through the open door about things other than masks. He wasn't in there a full three minutes(small house) so when he left I opened the windows and wiped down things he touched. I can't make anyone wear a mask but I can do what I can to keep myself safe. It has worked for a couple of years so far. I REALLY do miss smiles though.

  3. I always wear a mask when I get out of my car in a public place but in my benighted county I frequently am the only one doing so. And the numbers keep rising.

    1. Same in NJ, where it is all masks all the time, numbers finally starting to fall, seems like a 3 week surge where ever the Omicron hits. Hopefully there will be plenty of therapeutics for the next wave.

  4. Part of the problem is people wearing the same mask all the time, day after day after day, with disposable ones the constant wearing has to reduce the effectiveness, and with the non-disposables, many people don't bother to wash them. They think just letting them air out is good enough. You won't believe how many filthy masks I see around here. I see far too many worn under the nose too.

  5. While i continue to wear my N-95 in public, i figure it's not my business if other people don't.

    In the same way that people seem to feel safe being nasty and rude behind a screen name, i can see how wearing a mask can give them the same sense of being "anonymous," even though they really aren't.

  6. If masks worked, then nobody wearing a mask would get sick. I can't believe some people think the fabric only works one direction, and that 'I wear my mask to protect YOU,' but that traitor mask will let stuff in to infect them.

  7. I wear a mask where they're required and/or if I feel it's too peoply. Whether it helps or not, who knows. At this point I'm just doing what's right for me and others can do what's right for them. - I do miss seeing people's smiling faces tho.