The mask’s role after COVID 19

April 30, 2020

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The USA has been on lockdown for the past few months. The country has been in the grip of the COVID 19 pandemic. Businesses have been required to close along with schools and public parks. Social distancing has become the norm in the USA. Many states are planning on opening up in May or June. This means people will be able to get out of the house for more than grocery shopping or walks. This will lead to an increase of interactions between citizens as society restarts. When the pandemic passes what will interactions in society look like if/when everyone is still wearing surgical masks?

The COVID 19 crisis has led to a boom in surgical masks. Many citizens are forced to wear these masks when interacting with other people. Surgical masks will probably be a common sight for months after the pandemic is over. People will still be wary of others and surgical masks make people feel comfortable about being around others. It will be interesting to see how surgical masks will look on wait staff at restaurants. Imagine sitting in a nice eatery and having the waiter or waitress standing over you with a surgical mask on.

Shopping at malls or big retail stores will be similar to grocery shopping, which never stopped. You will see people walking through the mall wearing surgical masks or scarfs over their faces. People will be wary of others who are not wearing masks like they are now during the pandemic. Customer service may suffer in shoe stores or any store that a person has to interact with store personnel. How can you express sincerity as a salesperson with your face covered? Also shoppers may be wary of trying items on to check fit which will lead to lower sales or massive returns. Will shoppers even want to purchase items that have been handled by others after COVID 19?

The nightlife will be impacted severely by the pandemic. Bars and clubs will be changed unless people forget COVID 19 existed. Can you imagine going out to meet some friends and possibly meet new people in a place where you can’t see people’s faces? It is okay for those people you know but how can you talk to a new person if you can’t see their face? Also how will you enjoy your libations if you have to keep taking your surgical mask down? Internet dating may become bigger than it already is. You can tell your internet date to meet you at a place and you’ll be the one in the red surgical mask by the front entrance.

Sports will be changed. Usually there are thousands at a sporting event. Pro sports generate huge profits off people going to live games to watch the spectacle. This will change because the option of being one of 50, 000 screaming fans packed in one area will be shunned by many. It is kind of hard to scream with a surgical mask on your face. Seats in many stadiums are close together and social distancing will be in everyone’s minds for at least a year. This means many people will be renewing their satellite television services and adding more sports channel packages.

The US has forever been changed by the COVID 19 pandemic. Beaches, parks, festivals and other normal social gatherings will be viewed differently from now on. Surgical masks and social distancing will be around for the duration along with subtle paranoia. One thing is certain. Mask or no, it will be good to be able to get out of the house and enjoy the world again.

Frank James IV © 2020

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not of the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper or NCON Communication, its staff or management. “Being Frank” is a bi-weekly column exclusive to the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper.