Carnes: Looking through the mask of indifference
With all the crap going on in the world, it was nice to see Happy Valley perk up a bit for the Fourth, even though we all know good and well it was nowhere near what was hoped for when the 2020 summer season was first planned out by “those in charge.”
But then again, no one had any clue the planet would be flipped upside down by something a thousand times smaller than an early December snowflake.
Especially not those in charge.
As the crowds slowly began arriving last week, restaurants looked busy, or at least as busy as they can look at 50% capacity, but that paled in comparison to a City Market, Home Depot or Wally World visit, where the masses each day rivaled those we see in early March.
Only now most are wearing masks.
What’s weird though, at least for me, is I never realized how much I need to see a mouth to recognize the person saying, “Hello,” or sometimes, “Yo jackass,” in which case I just assume they’re a Vail Daily regular reader and keep moving.
The voice and eyes can only say so much, and sure, hair is highly recognizable for some (i.e. Bill Sepmeier for the longest time), but a nose, mouth, and chin are needed in most cases to know for sure whom it is talking in my general direction.
Half the time I just fake it until they say something useful to quickly deduce who they actually are (half of the other half of the time, I pretend for the duration, then ask my wife, “Who was that?”).
And the masks themselves are becoming a fashion statement for some, with so-called “luxury brands” selling face coverings for over a hundred bucks.
Those doing so are what I refer to as so-called “nuts.”
It is more entertaining to watch those without masks.
The ones who forgot their mask at home walk really fast with their heads down, quietly hoping to not be called out for fear of being “mask shamed.”
Others have a mask, but it is dangling off one ear, down around their neck, or wrapped around a wrist, sort of like wearing headphones but never turning the music on.
And then, of course, we have those whose goal each time they leave the house is to strut around like a peacock, proudly boasting to whoever will listen their political stance on masks and the ignorance they’re forced to endure by watching the rest of us schmucks wear masks.
Or sometimes they just look at you with a smug holier-than-thou attitude, quietly knowing they are intellectually superior to those lacking the courage to prevent their freedoms from being infringed upon. Even though I can see through their mask of indifference, no words are necessary, as these are the ones most likely to spend their unemployment checks on pointy bed sheets and other MAGA paraphernalia.
Anyway, the myths and fallacies about wearing masks are all over the map, with most misconceptions being easily cleared up in less than 30 seconds online. Let’s just hope Gov. Polis doesn’t start closing things again. For most of us, the very first thing our eyes saw was an extremely fuzzy outline of a person in a mask. If the majority keep dealing with this nonsense the correct way, hopefully, a person in a mask will not be the last thing our eyes ever see.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.