Like most people who are suffering through this latest pandemic (Version 13.2, if my memory serves me correctly), I have been letting my blog go to hell.
I didn’t even have to carry it there in a hand-basket, they came and picked it up for me.
From what I’ve read in all of the blogs I’ve been reading, us bloggers fall into two categories:
- Bloggers who have been stuck at home for almost 2 months and so have run out of things to write about
- Bloggers who are considered “essential” and so have to go into work every day and work extra hours and so have nothing interesting to write about other than work (which is inherently uninteresting)
I fall into category 2. This pandemic has not created anything out of the ordinary for me. It is even more more of the same, only more so.
The only views I get of the world are the darkened streets as I drive into work early in the morning, and those same nearly darkened streets on the way home in the evenings. In between those two times, my views of the world consist of fluorescent lighting, linoleum flooring (white-with-speckles), and institutional-green walls.
The only thing really different now is that I am required to wear a surgical mask.
Who Was That Masked Man?
I have a few thoughts on wearing masks.
Mask Thought #1
For those of us who suffer from allergies, wearing a mask is like adding insult to injury. On a good day, my breathing is only about 40% effective as it is. Add a face mask, and that drops down to about 20%. Climbing a flight of stairs can cause me to see spots, flares, and to smell toast.
The other day I had to go up to the third floor and after 2 flights of stairs I’m pretty sure I was visited by my spirit animal.
Unfortunately, it was a meerkat and its only words of wisdom to me were, “Avoid the chipped beef in the cafeteria.”
He didn’t have to tell me that!
So I said, “No, YOU avoid the chipped beef in the cafeteria. What do you think about that?”
The lack of oxygen was making me irascible.
Mask Thought #2
Another thing about masks is that everyone’s speech is muffled.
I spent a lot of time in my youth in my car playing rock and roll at top volume. As a result, I already need to look at peoples’ lips in order to help my brain translate what they’re saying. Now, cover their mouth with a mask and I find myself gazing into their eyes trying to pick up verbal cues from the micro-dilations of their eyes as they speak.
I have an appointment with HR on Monday morning. Apparently, gazing intently into one’s coworkers’ eyes is frowned upon.
Mask Thought #3
Every time I slip my surgical mask on in the morning, I suddenly feel like Groucho Marx playing the part of a doctor. Or, more accurately, I feel like Hawkeye Pierce imitating Groucho Marx playing the part of a doctor.
I walk into every room in the building like Hawkeye (Groucho), tapping the ash off of an imaginary cigar as I raise and lower my eyebrows repeatedly.
“Good morning, ladies and germs,” I announce. “I would have been here sooner, but I slipped in a pile of management and dislocated my pension. Nurse, where’s my first patient? I’m nearly out of patients and at my wits end. Or am I out of wits and nearly at my patient’s end? What am I, a gastroenterologist? Never mind, pass me those forceps and prepare to do a wallet-ectomy on our patient. If we’re out of forceps, pass me my four iron. And set the iron on high because I’ve discovered a new wrinkle in this case. At least, I think it’s a wrinkle. Maybe the patient is rankled, instead. He seems to have sprained his rankle.”
And so on and so on. Now you know why it’s important for me to not wear a mask.
Enjoy your Friday, everyone! Stay safe!