Masking is a challenge 

To be effective, the mask needs to be snuggly placed across the bridge of the nose, flattened against the cheeks and secured under the chin. But all too often, we are witnessing on others, or perhaps ourselves, a mask that is too big or too small.  Masks that are so tight we feel the suffocation, so loose we hear the wind tunnelling, so misshaped it cannot even find the chin. But the worst is the mask that pops the nose. 

In this scenario, the mask has dropped completely off the nose, still hiding the mouth but exposing the nostrils. This circus act tends to make the nostrils a most prominent feature, one that we rarely zeroed on in normal times. The wearer may be more comfortable, but, in most cases, the observer is not. Nostrils are not normally a fav.

I witnessed a store supervisor approach an elderly lady. She was barely managing her walker and quite unaware that her nose had popped out. “Ma’am please cover your nose. I know it is hard to breathe and I’m sorry but those are the rules.” The lady seemed confused but did try to reassemble her new wardrobe addition. I felt so sad for all. 

Is the nose pop intentional? Yes and no.

The honest nose pop

 “I can’t breathe.”
“My mask is too big and keeps slipping. It’s not my fault.”
“I’m just taking a nose break.” 
“I blew my nose and I forgot to re-dress it.” 
“What mask?”

The less-than-honest nose pop

“My nose is my most prominent feature and I like to keep it that way.”
“I’m claustrophobic and being smothered to death.”
“Who will know who I am?” 
“I don’t believe in this masquerade. It’s all a hoax.
“I have my god- given rights and I am NOT wearing the **^^**^ mask.” 
“I’ll put it on when I rob the bank.”

I had to shoe shop the other day and the server was most practiced at the nostril exposure. She was young and looked healthy yet I assumed she may be a candidate for the honest nose pop.  It appeared to be more that the mask was huge and kept slipping off, but as I observed her feigned attempts to rearrange it, I also observed her tugging it down every change she had.  Not a pleasant encounter.  I do not think she appreciated my gentle gestured mime at ‘please return your mask to its rightful place’, as she crossed our safety zone to deliver my size 8 black sneakers.  This is all new for me too.  And for you anti-maskers, go ahead and cheer her on. Your choice. 

Besides the nose pop, which may (or may not) be the second serious offense to outright mask refusal, we observe other but legit mask-ridding actions. When the mask is not immediately essential, but might be any second, we see the

Lone ear dangler
Neck warmer
Brow perch
Back headed hangout

When the mask is not urgently needed but must remain as close as a cell phone, we see the

Palm clutch
Pocket stuffer
Pocket flip out
Purse stowaway
Handlebar sway
Dashboard toss
Seat warmer
Mirror swing

Novel observations for sure and new future screenplay fodder.

I have yet to start dreaming in a mask, but I know it will come. I am sure those of you who are wearing them for the long hours are already masked in your REMs  

What do ‘nose pops’ and mask behaviours have to do with Earth to Body? We are not the mask police. We do natural skin care and if you wear masks all day and are having any skin issues, we can make a difference in helping your skin survive.  As for wearing them, keeping them positioned and trying to breathe?  We empathise.

 

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