Sean Moncrieff: What will our mask-wearing future be like?
Masks are here to stay bringing all sorts of challenges in how we relate to each other
Passengers wearing masks on public transport in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson
As many people on Twitter will tell you, the compulsory wearing of masks is really a plot by George Soros, Big Mask and the Illuminati to take away our freedom. It was exactly this sort of thing Patrick Pearse and the lads were objecting to when they holed up in the GPO.
Yes, we’ve reached a point in history where we are riven not by ideological differences, but logical ones. On one side there are those who wish to keep themselves and others safe, and on the other there are those who believe that a submicroscopic infectious agent is anti-Trump. No part of the natural world will be safe from this politicisation. Antifa cats. Racist clouds.
However, if you still believe that gravity is what affixes you to the ground, you may be holding out for a vaccine. But that won’t prevent pandemics in the future. Covid-19 was just last year’s version. There will be others.
We will have far less information to go on when making that all-important snap judgement of other people
It doesn’t matter where you think it came from: aliens, animal markets, secret Chinese/American/North Korean labs. A virus can quickly spread around the world because we humans spread around the world. That’s the problem.
Sorry Twitter. The virus, and the Liberal mind-control cabal have won. Masks are here to stay, and will bring all sorts of challenges in how we relate to each other
Coming up with a set of mask conventions will take time though. For most, the face covering is purely practical, but already there are indications that it can be used for self-expression. Big-name designers are producing them. I’ve seen one person wearing a mask that matched her coat, and others with slogans or the wearer’s name. In time you’ll be able to get covers with amusing memes or wacky decorations, indicating just how much fun the mask wearer is. How much fun they actually are is another matter. It’ll be difficult to tell from a glance, as we’ll all look like surgeons or bank robbers: which may present difficulties for hospitals and banks.
We will have far less information to go on when making that all-important snap judgement of other people. That mask may or may not be misrepresenting the person before you.
But we will get used to it, and it may have some advantages. The tyranny of beauty will be lessened. Having a crooked nose, black teeth or hideously thin lips won’t matter so much anymore. Big ears, once deemed laughable, might now be viewed as a genetic advantage: we’ll all need something substantial to hook our covers around. It’ll all be about the eyes and forehead, providing a massive economic boost to the producers of make-up and Botox.
We may, in time, start to forget what others look like. In the privacy of their own homes, people will still be allowed to slip the mask off, but in public, the sight of another human face will become shocking. Parents will shield their kids if they see one, and the non-masked may come to be regarded not just as disease spreaders and/or freedom-loving patriots, but as unhinged exhibitionists, violating a sacred social code. Such activity may well go underground, with secret face parties or nose porn on the internet.
The influential among us will try to maintain the social order, but if they wear a mask, they may become less influential. Fame is pretty meaningless if we don’t know what the famous person looks like. It could be anyone.
In the meantime, until we learn to read each other’s masked faces, we may misinterpret what we’re seeing. Herself was on the Dart the other day, saw a man not wearing a mask and gave him a dirty look. If Herself gives you a filthy, you know it. But it mostly emanates from the set of her mouth. As she was wearing a mask, he didn’t know it. Rather than hanging his naked head in shame, he asked her out for a drink.