I have become quite fond of my face mask. I know there is a small but vocal minority of people who see them as oppressive muzzles, suffocating destroyers of civil liberty etc, and that everybody else sees them as just a little bit annoying, an irritating but essentially minor imposition to their day. But I must say, I am a real convert.
I didn’t get off to a good start with them. My first one was a nylon job purchased for £1.50 from a service station, and promptly discarded the moment I had to wear it in temperatures above 18 degrees. But when I found the one for me (a cotton number in Liberty print), it was love at first sight.
I have no idea if face masks make the slightest bit of difference when it comes to stopping the spread of coronavirus – what I don’t know about viruses is definitely worth finding out about. (In the past few months I have not become one of those armchair epidemiologists. The only thing I want to do in an armchair is watch Netflix.) But their efficacy in defeating pandemics is neither here nor there for me, and I am pretty sure I will go on wearing them long after this dastardly disease has decided to do one. I think that face masks are the perfect cover for those of us who were slightly antisocial long before 2020, and I can’t believe it has taken a global pandemic for me to discover them.
They work a treat when you are in the street, and someone you are not really that keen to talk to approaches for one of those inane natters, which serves no purpose other than to waste your precious time. A face mask worn permanently – not just inside shops – sends out a strong message, and that message is, ‘Don’t talk to me, I am highly paranoid and concerned you might be contagious.’
The other really good thing about face masks is they make you look alluring, don’t you think? Sometimes, I wear mine around the house, fluttering my eyelashes from above it, in an attempt to get my husband to do exactly as I say. It doesn’t always work, but that’s only because he can’t hear me from behind the mask.
A lot of people complain about ‘maskne’ a word almost as awful as the spots from masks that it seeks to describe. But for those of us who always, always have hormonal, spotty chins – not to mention little hairs growing out of them at an alarming rate – masks are great because they cover everything up. And here’s the really fantastic thing about face masks: their ability to remove all double, treble and quadruple chins in an instant, the coverings working like cradles for excess fat. With a face mask on, everyone has the angular face of a supermodel, darling.
But mostly, I love my face mask because it gives me warm comfort in an increasingly mad world. And because, in winter, it’s going to be totally ace at protecting from wind chill.