Guest Post by Melissa R.: Masks: The Advantages

Here’s a post just for funsies. I felt so loved this summer to have dear friends sending me weekly emails of support. Here is the latest from Melissa R., who has been one of my best friends for FIFTEEN years now—back when we were technical writers. You can bet that if ever I marry, she will be a bridesmaid. She not only drove us both to work where she led up our team, but also to my dietitian appointments. But more than that, she has stood by me as an incredible friend even during the hardest times when I have sometimes not deserved it. She reached out to help me when I was in my sickest with my anorexia, but I batted her away—and still she stood by me, despite the pain and destruction I was causing all around me. She knows me in and out, and has been there. Other letters she wrote included musings on dinosaurs, sustainable architecture, and the progressive-for-her-time Lucille Ball.

Hello dear KC!

Once again I’m behind in writing to you this week. I started school this last week so my life hasn’t had much excitement, but I have found so many advantages to masks, beyond protecting people from COVID. This week we got hit by an early snow storm. It was 99 degrees on Saturday and then Monday night it dropped down to freezing rain, and then snow late Tuesday night into Wednesday. Crazy, right? That brings me to my first mask advantage:

1. It keeps your face nice and warm while running, shoveling snow, walking the dog, basically any outdoor activity. Stephen, and I’m sure many other men, is not growing a beard this winter because it hinders mask-wearing. But with a mask, he doesn’t need the beard!

2. No longer do you have to worry about odiferous situations in public. I’ve found the greatest advantage being around cigarette smokers, (seriously, with vaping, why are stinky cigarettes still a thing?) garbage trucks and by extension cans left out on trash day, diesel fumes and burning oil and gasoline.

3. Picking up after the dog is slightly less unpleasant. Joey starts doing the poopy dance and I pull up my mask. I still catch a whiff now and then if the wind is right, but it’s worse without a face covering.

4. Public restrooms. I’ve never been a fan, and now with COVID I don’t go out very often and can’t say this is one in which I have personal experience, but there’s always that public restroom air. I would wear a mask just to use the bathroom at museums, zoos, or even stores if it was necessary.

5. You’re going to think me crass, but we’ve all been there. Think of all those times you’ve needed to pass some gas but you were worried someone in the vicinity might smell it. So you try to saunter your way off to some quiet, well-ventilated corner. Well no longer! With everyone in masks, it’s much harder to smell!

I should publish this for all those stupid nay-sayers out there who follow the orange man’s example. If they don’t believe the virus will kill them, or at least have long-lasting and devastating effects on their health, and they don’t feel the need to respect the health of others, they can at least do it for one of the reasons above. Number 5 may be the only one that convinces smoker, non-dog owners who live in moderate climates and don’t mind public restrooms.

Be safe my love. I’m thinking of you constantly, even if it takes a while to get your emails written, you’re on my mind. Love,Melissa

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