Should We Wear Face Masks At Work?

Should we wear a mask or not? This is becoming the coronavirus-related issue I struggle with the most.

What I liked about the Covid-19 pandemic – and you have to go some to find the bits you like about a pandemic – was that we had put our trust in the experts again. After Brexit had made us thumb our noses at anyone foolish enough to actually do the learning, there was nothing like the imminent fear of death to make us like experts again.

We trusted the profs. Boris trusted them. Boris stood within two metres of them to do some press conferences.

On the issue of masks, the experts told us we didn’t need them. They said that they weren’t proven and that they didn’t filter out things as small as a pesky little RNA-filled bag of protein like Covid-19 so what would be the point?

I believed them because they were the experts. For a small second I thought to myself, “Isn’t Covid-19 spread in aerosols of breathed out spittle, so the issue should be the diameter of those rather than the size of a virus? But whatever man, they’re the ones with the qualifications.”

Then the news told us that countries that had forced their people to wear masks out of the house were doing better than us with lower transmission and death rates. Now our papers are telling us we may have to wear masks when we go back to work.

That is going to be quite a culture shock. After three weeks of lockdown I am not sure I’ll get used to wearing trousers again, let alone wearing something new.

Yes, having the lower part of your face covered will make it easier to pretend to be interested in meetings. And yes, making everyone wear a mask will spare us from the Darren from Accounts and his wicked bad breath. But there are downsides too.

Anyone who reads lips will take this personally.

Remember, if we have to wear face masks, the key is to wear them on our faces. I see so many people with the mask pulled down around their chins because they’re talking on the phone. Wearing a face mask on your chin is like wearing a condom on your balls.

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