If a year ago you had told me what 2020 has in store for us I would have told you to stop watching apocalyptic movies. Yet here we are, masks and all.

This is going to be the new normal for quite some time. I remember the odd person wearing a mask. What started off as a self help precaution for the concerned have now evolved into a governed requirement. I am not going to make any further mention of this “sensitive” subject, just know that it’s a given. This article will deal more with how the mask affects our interaction and communication.

Most of our social interaction depends on seeing the human face. Unfortunately the covered part plays a major role in communication. In short the eyes deal with trust and feelings of openness, while the mouth area deals with ‘happy’ and ‘unhappy’ reactions. It’s already awkward trying to keep your distance from people and now you can’t even smile to hide your embarrassment. Not being able to see the face as a whole leads to a feeling of greater distance between people. Depending on your mood at any given time, you are likely to make the wrong assumption about another person’s intentions.

This in turn adds more stress to the current situation. A few examples: We need to stand in rows before entering a shop. Things get pinned to us for regulating instore numbers. The door guards and people around us seem to be rude. Even with social distancing in place we still get into situations where a bunch of strangers huddle around us. Everyone seems to be a Covid 19 expert. The lockdown damaged our financial status. Crime seems to be on the increase. Indeed this seems to be the new normal. I still get a sense of disbelief only to remind myself, “hey buddy, you are living in it.”

So what do I make of the ‘new normal’ imposed on us? Do I like it? “No.” Is it necessary? “Misguided, but yes it is.”

I would like to believe that we are a strong community regardless of personal interest and beliefs. We always come together for the greater good. Please be as patient as you possibly can. We are all inconvenienced by something that is out of our control. I am not just saying this for the mere fact of stating the obvious. I, myself, am unlucky to be equipped with a short fuse and sharp witted mind… I know we are mostly in the game for ourselves but remember to play well with others.   

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