Amid COVID-19: Better not forget my mask

Well, despite my wishes to the contrary, summer is marching along quickly, and we are already approaching the last few weeks of August.

It is inevitable, of course.

As the good book says, “For everything there is a season and a time.”

And, with September only a stone’s throw away, the time has come to think about getting ready for school, especially if you happen to be a kid and/or a teacher.

And, added to the list of school supplies this year is, of all things, a mask or perhaps, masks.

Yes, the effects of COVID-19 strike again.

Remember before COVID. Remember when wearing a mask while out in public was not considered normal.

Ah, yes! Those were the good old days when you just had to grab your wallet and keys and glasses and go. Now, I grab all the above, get in the car, ready to drive away and then I remember.

“Mask!” Better not forget my mask.”

And back I go.

All kidding aside, I am quite happy to comply with the rules regarding COVID. I will wear a mask. I will hand sanitize and I will practice social distancing if that is what it takes.

That being said, none of the above is easy.

I forget stuff all the time. Now I must add a mask to the stuff I keep forgetting. As for social distancing, it is great for some people for sure, but for me, not so much. It turns out I cannot seem to hear the person who is social distancing from me very well at all.

Oh, my goodness. The fact that I cannot hear the person who is social distancing from me is not good and came as a kind of surprise, especially to myself. I really thought we had the television so loud that apparently the neighbours can hear it was for my husband’s benefit, not mine.

Who knew?

As far as kids wearing masks and practicing social distancing at school, I honestly cannot make any sort of wise and profound statement about that other than ‘good luck.’

I read that children who are working quietly and practicing social distancing may remove masks with their teacher’s permission. I tried to picture such a classroom.

I failed.

Perhaps my girls, who are both teachers, can fill me in on how that will happen.

One thing I do know. These teachers have a tremendous responsibility. I only hope and pray that somehow, some way, education will continue with minimum casualties.

Yes, COVID has certainly changed the world as we know it and it seems it will be a long time before we can all breath a collective sigh of relief that the virus, and the fear it has initiated, is behind us.

In the meantime, if we all must wear masks, practice social distancing and go crazy with hand sanitizer, so be it.

Really, we all wear masks anyway. True, the masks are invisible and serve to hide emotions of fear, anger and even inappropriate glee. Taking off our masks and laying bare our souls can be scary stuff.

I wore a mask (a real one) to the grocery store the other day. It was fine, except my glasses fogged up and when I smiled at the check out girl even though I was less than happy with my grocery bill, she did not even know.

Maybe my eyes were smiling, but, somehow, I doubt it.

Treena Mielke is a central Alberta writer. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.


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