At the end of 2019, we never thought twice about rubbing shoulder-to-shoulder with someone in a shop or sitting under 6 feet away from another table at a restaurant.
The pandemic that swept the globe in December 2019 has changed the face of personal TLC for the foreseeable - and perhaps unforeseeable - future.
Countless pieces of advice have stormed internet search engines, counseling us on:
how to properly wash our hands (20 seconds in every direction with soap and warm water!);
how to moisturize properly so that germs don’t enter our chafes and cuts from our excessive hand washing (hydrating hand spray, anyone?); how to not touch your face or food with contaminated hands!
So none of this is new to you, right? But why are our phones and tablets suddenly being infiltrated with this information like never before? The fact of the matter is that the world is not as it once was. Our perception of cleanliness has ascended to new levels.
Not to say we’ve always been dirty. We’ve just never been faced with such a highly contaminable virus. Although COVID19 may reap a lower mortality rate amongst a greater number of people, the fact remains that it spreads like wildfire. And the simplest act of wearing a mask is an EASY preventative to curb its spread.
Protests in the United States claiming this pandemic to be a “spam-demic” may convince you otherwise. Mask resistance builds up on the premise that it is an infringement of a personal right. Demonstrator Alisa Finken deigns to make claims of discrimination : “I honestly feel like we’ve created a new prejudice... those who wear a mask and those who don’t.”
Ms. Finken needs to grasp that, naturally, a fear of death and disease will make people more acutely conscientious. And that fear will certainly spawn an aggressive take on mask-wearing in public spaces where they feel their health and the health of their loved ones is at risk.
But where do we draw the line? A mask supporter has as much right to feel protected as an anti-mask protester has to feel ‘free’.
So while mandates on wearing masks are steadily being withdrawn and reduced to strong recommendations, we need to remain health-conscious and start to change the conversation a bit to the topic that really matters: mask-wearing is a human courtesy. It comes down to 20 minutes in a grocery store where you exercise common decency towards all, especially in the face of a disease that is actively claiming lives.
We are already more conscious of hand-washing, hand sanitizing and speaking too closely to each other. We needn’t be so afraid of minor changes in our personal health care routines - especially when those minor changes have major benefits for preventing contagion.
Plus, the world is also always changing! And throughout history, we have changed with it.
The 1918 influenza that decimated 2.5% of the world’s population helped us embrace socialized medicine; AIDs in the 1980s helped us understand the significance of viral load in the blood system and how to track viral load in subsequent waves; SARS in 2003 acclimated us to the consistent use of hand sanitizer; H1N1 swine flu in 2009 deepened our understanding of the passage of a virus between humans and animals. Even from COVID itself we’ve learned about the rate of proliferation.
All in all, we have ridden every successive wave of a disease by learning from it. We have managed to adapt to the consequent circumstances. Even now, we continue to adapt to the times. And the present time calls for a more rigid self-care plan.
COVID19 is helping us see the necessary precautions we should take: sanitizing our hands regularly, wearing filtered masks in crowded public places and slipping into gloves before touching any grocery store produce...if you haven’t been living under a rock, at least one of these should be familiar to you right now! And once we are finally in the absence of a global pandemic, our idea of personal health care is forever changed.
You do things to protect yourself. You wear glasses to protect your eyes, sunscreen to protect your skin, seat belts to protect your life.
You also do things that protect others. You cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. You (hopefully) sanitize your hands afterward. You also safely dispose of garbage to avoid rat infestation. All of these actions are in favor of a protected community, n’est-ce pas?
How much more effort does a mask take? Why is the price of common courtesy so expensive to you?
We may still be fighting the good fight to rid ourselves of a deadly virus that has dug its claws into every corner of the globe. So the simplest act we can do at the global citizen’s level is just to cover our faces.
So as we adapt to these changes, consider the grander picture. Masks are practically becoming all the rage. At AT MOST, the cost of wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) is merely that you become a master of accessories, particularly when you opt for fashionable patterns. What better way to adapt to the times than with a flair in style? It’s a mask; no one’s asking us to walk around in hazmat suits or hospital scrubs.
Even employers support the new norms of a healthy, happy workplace. As more businesses are requiring more strident health measures for their workers, we are appreciating a new approach to cleanliness and reducing germ transfer in public spaces.
MaskZ of Sweden is behind this self-same mission. By bolstering the use of PPE, we stand by the growing importance and increased cognizance of mask wear, glove wear and more consistent sanitation practices. The last thing anyone wants to do is transfer what’s living on the door handle to their face!
MaskZ of Sweden is helping everyone push forward into the age of a healthy normal. As we emerge from under the rocks where we’ve stubbornly avoided bodily health and human decency,, let’s join in the mission to combat the spread of two diseases: the spread of viruses and the spread of ignorance.