The masks are falling off

Like in a crime drama’s last act, the masks are falling off! After months of shielding their faces, citizens are (hesitantly) starting to assemble with their peers barefaced. It is a good and peculiar feeling at the same time. Good, because masks have been a hindrance (especially if you wear glasses) but strange because of the novelty of it. It almost feels like embracing a new cult…

The human being can manage almost any constraint. Poverty, hunger, disease, imprisonment… And once you have lived through such a condition for a while, it becomes the new normal. The “old normal” becomes an almost forgotten feeling and it will take some time before you refamiliarize yourself with the old ways.

It will also feel strange to finally identify people that you met during the pandemic. You never had a good chance to see them without a mask, and their features are not familiar. It will be like meeting them again in earnest. It happened to me recently, and even though I rubbed shoulders with this person for months, I did not first recognize her without a mask.

The masks are falling off, but handshaking, hugging, and kissing will remain taboo for a while longer. Especially among the more mature set. The young will no doubt reembrace the old ways enthusiastically, but grownups will do so carefully, progressively. Exuberance slows down with age.

But despite some encouraging results, the pandemic is far from over. Many unfortunate countries (India, Brazil) are still facing the full force of the storm, and the world won’t be safe until everyone has been vaccinated.

Even in relatively modern countries, there are some stragglers… People who for strange ideological reasons refuse to get immunized against the disease. And among those, I am particularly disturbed by the so-called “faithful” reaction to the crisis. Especially the ultra-orthodox who seem to live on another planet… When the Titanic went down, God did not pick and choose who would live or who would die. God helps those who help themselves… I thought that everybody, especially the faithful, knew this…

And experts are saying that booster shots will be required. Like the flu season, the Covid-19 pandemic is going to become a recurring event, with what it entails.

Nevertheless, despite some hiccups, the masks are falling off. And fashionistas are thrilled! How can any young woman not be excited to show her pretty face again? Your face is your billboard and without a decent billboard, it is difficult to attract suitors… Yes, they will gladly remove their ungainly niqabs…

But ladies, you don’t really need a pretty face to attract… charm is the key.

“A beauty is a woman you notice; a charmer is one who notices you.” ~ Adlai E. Stevenson

I will pick a charmer anytime, with or without a mask.

Alain

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