Non-Fiction: The Mask Narrative

Hello all,

Before I get to the main body of this impromptu post, I’d like to say that I’m not here to extol the virtues or decry the negatives of mask wearing or how it is being applied locationally by the Government. Just a few thoughts and speculation not based on any science.

Watching the Sky News Press Preview earlier this week, the first item was the directive laid down that from the 24th of this month, face coverings in shops would be mandatory- though arguably, it’s become less clear, since then.

As is the way with this item, they had someone politically right-leaning, and someone left-leaning. The right-winger rather objected to the idea that the element of choice had been removed and compared it to being ‘muzzled’. I immediately thought that I’d heard that narrative somewhere. Then it hit me immediately- The United States, where the issue of wearing masks had become as political as listening to expert scientific advice.

Fast forward to a few moments ago, and I headed out, headphones over my ears and mask over my nose and mouth. I started to notice something, but my focus was mainly on what I was going to order. As I made my journey, it became more pronounced, especially with what I made out to be suspicious and cautious expressions.

I noticed it when I walked past the local pub, and saw the people sat at tables outside. After I made the order and when I was walking back home, it happened as it did before. The almost puzzled looks and evasive action.

As I neared my home, I could see a couple walking in my direction, the man had a child in a baby carrier.

As I neared them, making sure to move to the side, I noted the man protectively put his arms around the head of the child. As any parent would in these uncertain times…

… Except I was wearing a mask.

They were not wearing a mask. In fact, absolutely nobody else on that 20 minute trip out of my home wore a mask. No-one else walking down the street, no-one outside the pub, no-one in shops, no-one where I ordered food or on the way back.

It was very striking and when I sat down at home, I gave it some thought. Not about the absence of masks. I’ll let you make your own judgements on that or why that could be.

Rather, I thought back to the suspicious and puzzled looks I was getting, and specifically the protective action the father took with his child. Depending on what you feel about mask coverings, I was possibly the person least likely to be a threat to them. Who knows, maybe that was the beginning of a repetitive action he’ll take tonight.

But following a specific train of thought, I considered the possibility that the narrative behind mask wearing will shortly change.

Will those who wear masks imminently be seen as the bigger threat?

“They said wearing masks was to prevent you (the wearer) from potentially infecting others. So if you’re wearing a mask, does that mean you’ve got COVID-19? Are you infected? Are you a danger to everyone else?”

And let’s not forget the freedom of choice, civil liberties argument that will likely grow legs over the next few weeks.

And I’m counting down the days until the first security guard openly challenges me on their inability to see my face fully in a shop or makes it clear I’m being watched 🤦🏿‍♂️

So the mask-wearing narrative and how it could (further) divide the country might be one to look out for…

Dinner was nice, by the way 😂

Comments welcome below.

Thanks for reading.

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