19 July 2020
STRAIGHT & 2 BEERS
We all need to channel Mzekezeke
Love them or hate them, masks are here to stay, at least in the foreseeable future.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we were told only frontline health care workers needed to wear masks and the rest of us were fine.
It was only when the country moved to level four that it was recommended that face coverings were essential to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, especially in public spaces.
Any cloth mask would do, we were told.
Many people struggled to channel their Mzekezeke and ignored the advice. They only wore them because many shops did not allow them to shop without face coverings.
This week, the government made it a crime not to wear your mask in public.
This relatively new accessory has divided health experts in the age of the pandemic.
Last week, the World Health Organisation dropped a bombshell that COVID-19 was airborne. Coming seven months since the virus was discovered in China, this radically changed how we protect ourselves from being infected. Initially, we were told it was transmitted by spittle and touching an infected surface. We were warned not to touch our MEN (mouth, eyes and nose).
Now the damn contagion is in the atmosphere and wearing masks in public is
Your face mask is working double duty to protect everyone: It keeps you from spreading your germs and can stop other germs from getting into you. However, if used thoughtlessly, the masks can also cause unwanted side effects.
The joke is on us abomaglassana because our spectacles fog up when we breathe
inside a mask. Then came the jokes about finally inhaling your own halitosis.
But these pale in comparison to what I’m seeing out there. I have seen people wearing their masks to
support their chins, which left their nose and mouth exposed. Wearing a mask like that is like wearing a condom with the tip cut off.
To be sure, wearing masks is relatively uncomfortable for most of us. But this is hardly the time to fidget and do it for the police. It is like a seat belt; you don’t wear it to avoid a traffic fine but to save your life in case of a vehicle crash.
Your mask is meant to protect yourself and those you come in contact with.
I’ve also seen some people walk around with a dirty face mask, as if they are
doing somebody a favour. However, masks are meant to stop germs, not spread them.
If you only wear a mask to avoid being arrested, spare a thought for people with COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – for whom face masks make breathing more difficult. Moreover, a fraction of carbon dioxide previously exhaled is inhaled in each respiratory cycle.
After shunning a mask in public, US President Donald Trump finally donned one this week. Our own Cyril Ramaphosa suffered a hilarious mask malfunction during one of his appointments with the nation. The time has come to swallow our carbon dioxide.