Here I am with my son out dog-walking on April 5th, 2020. As you will see, we are wearing facemasks, made for us by friends (mine has corkscrews on it, as telling a symbol of these days as the mask itself).
Is it overkill? Do we need to be wearing masks at this point if we are strolling out in the open air not near anybody? A friend noted, “I’ve read that they should be worn when shopping and in unavoidable proximity to people, but not for exercise outside when keeping distance.” I responded, “It’s interesting, isn’t it, how these things have gone? You think something is an unnecessary overreaction and, a few days later, it’s the new normal. I’m getting ahead of the trend.”
Really, we just wanted to try them out. They were new, and fashionable even. Would others have them on? Would we get odd looks? I guess we wanted to get the feeling of whether or not this would be greeted as strange. We only came across one other person while we were walking–she had no mask on, but after she glanced over at us, she didn’t give us a second look.
Yeah, I guess this is normal.
Postscript. A piece in the Boston Globe (April 5) by Aaron Thomas called “Why I don’t feel safe wearing a face mask” adds a wrinkle I had not considered. Its subtitle, “I’m a Black man living in this world. I want to stay alive, but I also want to stay alive.” It’s depressing to know he is right. Some of us will get to have the privilege of wearing the mask based on our race.