Oakland Voices asked our correspondents about their experiences since being forced to wear face masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wearing a mask certainly comes with its own privileges.
For those who are unable to get a hold of one, access to entering certain places is denied. Most recently, I was outside of Trader Joe’s on Lakeshore Ave in Oakland waiting in line to get groceries and an older gentleman was denied access from getting into the store. He tried to reason with the workers handling the line, but they had to follow the mandatory mask policy.
Wearing a mask certainly forces one to make more eye contact. You are forced to pay attention to the crinkle of someone’s eyes when they are smiling at you now that their mouths and noses are hidden. The ways of acknowledgment have become that much more subtle.
As the weeks go by, very funky mask designs have started appearing. Lately, I noticed many faux designer patterned masks. The most common seem to be Gucci and Chanel.
Lastly, I have actually seen a few people wearing face shields with the sides of their faces still completely exposed. I am curious whether that defeats the purpose entirely. Those particular individuals were not wearing any accompanying masks with the shields either.
As the Bay Area begins to slowly re-open, it remains worrisome as people have begun getting lax in wearing their masks and properly sanitizing. I hope that people continue to stay safe and protected and realize that we are not quite yet over the curve.
Social distancing and the fight against COVID-19 continues.