Today I went out into the “world” for the first time in eleven weeks, and it was strange. People seem tentative, spooked. “Convalescent” was the word that kept dogging my steps, even though I feel fine and just got a sterling bill of health. Everybody seems to be limping around, being super careful as if we’re emerging from a catastrophe or long illness, even if we’re perfectly healthy. Of course, some of them may actually be convalescing from an illness or COVID-19. But I think it’s deeper than that: our whole society is in mourning for what we’ve lost, and it will take some time for us to get our spring back.
Walking around on the breezy streets of the West Seattle Junction, which is usually jam-packed on such a beautiful day, most of the people wore masks. (My Honey Girl limited edition puppy logo mask was so comfortable!) It was weird at first to see those blank faces. Suddenly you cannot “read” people, and you realize how many psychological clues you miss, when a person’s mouth, lips, and nose are hidden from view. Seeing people with half-faces makes them look blank, or sad, or indifferent.
So here’s an idea for “the new normal”: smile. Just for the hell of it, smile. Make your eyes twinkle.
Smiles show, just from the eyes. I tested it with some people today and they said, “Yes, smiles show, even from under masks.” So smile! It shows! (and you don’t have to worry about the spinach between your teeth)
Photo credits: MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images https://observer.com/2020/02/coronavirus-crisis-face-masks/
Yesterday’s face mask production: