surinenglish

THE MUSIC MAKER

Masking for a friend

Walking around Malaga this week, I looked on, agog, at the wide and varied attitudes to compulsory mask-wearing. You can learn a lot about people from their mask habits, let me tell you.

To be fair, most citizens are sporting the uncomfortable appendage correctly, even in banks, which must be quite scary if you work there. However, it's the subsets which are quite fascinating. For example, some people wear their masks covering only their mouths presumably putting their faith in abundant nasal hair to do the rest of the job. Others have them permanently hanging around their necks as if the virus were particularly fond of aggressively attacking the Adam's apple.

My favourites though are the people who wear them on their elbows. When the storm has passed and the analysis and graphs and political point-scoring has taken place, it's unclear what the conclusions will be. We can, however, be sure of one thing - the figures relating to the rate of Covid-19 contracted through the human elbow will be extremely low, possibly non-existent.

I wear a mask when I'm out and about, although like most people I'm not entirely sure how effective it is. It's more of a symbolic show of solidarity, to tell the truth. Plus it means unsuspecting members of the general public don't have to gaze upon my ugly mug as they go about their daily business. Anything to help.

The trouble is, the self-appointed experts don't know if masks are very effective either. Only last week, I was listening to yet another scientist on the radio insisting that face coverings are absolutely essential in our battle with the virus. Mind you, his condescending public school tone was enough to make you want to do the opposite of he recommended, whatever it was. Later that same day another bloke called Dr Chumley McWobblechops or something told us in no uncertain terms that masks were, actually, dangerously counterproductive because they caused people to touch their own faces too frequently and that they've given everyone a false sense of security. So that's all abundantly clear, then. Thanks, experts.

Governments are keen to tell us the that they're following 'the science' throughout all of this, studiously ignoring the fact that 'the science' hasn't got much more of a clue than the rest of us but, egos being what they are, the people in question won't come clean, shrug their shoulders and say what they should have from the kick off: "Dunno, mate. Your guess is as good as mine."

Still, it looks like things are calming down a bit as we move into phase 3 - or is it 4? I've lost count. Meanwhile, I'll keep wearing my mask - in fact I'll have to buy some more if this goes on much longer.

I wonder if they'll have my elbow size in stock.