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Masks will be part of life's rich tapestry

Frank Coughlan


 

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Henri de Chassey wearing a protective face mask, kisses his partner Margaux Rebois, who is returning to Paris after spending 2 months in Brussels, at Midi/Zuid station on the first day of the easing of lockdown measures during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: REUTERS/Yves Herman

Henri de Chassey wearing a protective face mask, kisses his partner Margaux Rebois, who is returning to Paris after spending 2 months in Brussels, at Midi/Zuid station on the first day of the easing of lockdown measures during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: REUTERS/Yves Herman

REUTERS

Henri de Chassey wearing a protective face mask, kisses his partner Margaux Rebois, who is returning to Paris after spending 2 months in Brussels, at Midi/Zuid station on the first day of the easing of lockdown measures during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: REUTERS/Yves Herman

God bless the nuns. While boys of generations past were intravenously fed misery history by the brothers, so as all the better to hate the Brits, the girls were at least being taught useful life skills. That's why my wife is the one busily sewing up masks for all the family, even the members we can't reach and only still vaguely recognise because of Zoom. I don't think she has as much as darned a sock in the intervening millennium and the results will be interesting, if not necessarily flattering.

At the very least such masks, whether mass produced or stitched together with love and devotion by mammies everywhere, will make us feel better about ourselves as we gingerly tiptoe back into the once familiar landscape of our lives.

The science seems to insist now that by covering the face you can make a real difference, not so much to yourself but the random strangers that inevitably cross your path. At the moment masks are optional, but I imagine we are only a few weeks away from when venturing forth without some strip of fabric will be deemed careless if not downright irresponsible.