Behind the Mask

Behind the Mask

Greta Svagr

For several months now the world has been encased in a bubble. A bubble created from Covid precautions, testing, quarantine, social distancing, reduced social and extracurricular activity, and a big one: masks. At first, the thought of wearing masks in any public setting seemed like an impossibility. However, over the corse of the past 9 months we have gotten used to the thin fabric covering up all the beautiful smiles. But, due to this prolonged period of wearing masks and societies adaption to the situation, we have all changed the way we see people just a bit.

For starters…our eyes. Even before the Covid Pandemic, eyes were a major part of everyones physical features and an aid in communicating with those around you. However, since the bottom half of everyones face is completely covered, we have averted to using our eyes and eyebrows in order to get through to others.

Another interesting aspect behind the masks is how we think and perceive people. Since the beginning of the school year, when we meet new students or friends at Davis with their masks on, we sort of form a face for them in our minds. What we think they look like, their nose, mouth, teeth, chin, and so on are all, in a sense, a figment of our imaginations. Therefore, when someone takes their mask off for a swig of water or a breath of air, and we finally see what they actually look like, its surprising. 90% of the time its not what we expected (not in a negative way necessarily), but just the simplicity behind finally seeing what your friend looks like can be shocking. This brings us to the next point, what will happen when we eventually are allowed to take them off, what will change?

“I’ve really gotten used to wearing the mask and honestly its grown on me. Sometimes its nice to just cover up my face when I’m feeling insecure about myself. Thats why I’m kinda worried for when we’ll take them off, what are people gonna think about how I look.”

Says Nicole Andersen, a fellow teenager ready for Covid to be over.

Not only can the masks be bothersome, annoying, and make life complicated, but they have caused conflict among people. There is disagreement and argument over how they help and whether they should be worn. At this point, most are willing and accepting of the masks, we kinda have to be. However, ever so ofter, bickering between people in public that goes along the lines of, “you need a mask,” “put your mask on,” “I refuse to wear a mask,” and etc occur.

We can all agree this has been a rough year and we have all been faced with change. But, with time and some resilience, we’ll power through this. We’ll make it out alive and ONE DAY we will not have to sanitize every desk top after class, we will not have get tested for Covid, and we will not have to wear masks!