Unequivocally Ambiguous

Humorous Stories on Parenting, Culture and Life

Hey, Put That Nose Away!

by | Apr 20, 2024 | culture | 0 comments

Scientific Concerns About The Long-Haul Effects of Wearing a Mask

During the summer of 2021, I visited my family in Dallas.

You might not know this but during 2021, the world was going through a pandemic. It was a big deal in history — for some people.

My family took us to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. As safety measures, the garden’s capacity to receive guests had been significatly reduced, people were expected to wear their masks and stay 6 feet away from others.

But still, there were other risks. I was walking down a narrow path and was forced to pass people coming from the opposite direction.

In the middle of the path, a woman was walking past me. At the exact, same moment, a fly lodged itself inside my throat, and I had to pull down my gaiter and cough it out.

So, there I was, in the thick of a pandemic, less than 6 feet away from another human being who wasn’t in my household, hacking my lungs out on her face.

She kept walking, but I felt embarrassed beyond measure. So I shouted to the people with me, “A fly was crawling down my throat.” I was hoping the woman heard my inadequate apology and would forgive me.

But you know how flies are. They study “The Art of War,” they look for weaknesses in the terrain, they practice patience, and they attack when you least expect it.

I feared the fly would plant its eggs inside me and begin another pandemic. The markings were all there. Instead of bats, it was a fly. Instead of a wet market, it was the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

I pulled my gaiter up again, hoping I didn’t terrify the poor woman, only to be attacked by the fly again. I pulled my gaiter down to find that fly.

I realized then that I wasn’t being attacked by a deadly fly but by a loose thread in my gaiter that was having a blast tickling my uvula and my sense of decency.

That’s what I get for waiting three months on a gaiter made in China just so I would save five bucks.

I can’t scientifically argue whether or not face coverings prevent virus transmission because I’m not a scientist; I just play one on social media. But I know for a fact they can’t protect you from embarrassment and feelings of inadequacy.

I have serious concerns about the prolonged use of masks and the unintended effects we will see in the future.

When my oldest daughter was a baby, she would wear her mom’s mask and walk around with it. I felt a pang of pain in my heart because I had no words to tell her she didn’t need to do that and that that scary moment in history would pass, too.

And why would I tell her that since I’m not saying those things for her benefit but mine? But I do wonder if kids from that generation will feel naked without a mask when they grow up.

I’m also concerned that, at some point, our noses will become something nobody wants to see. We can see everywhere that even though the pandemic is gone, some people still feel more comfortable wearing their masks.

Signs will no longer read: “No Shirt. No Shoes. No Service.” and instead will state: “No Shirt. No Shoes. Nose. No Service.”

I’m afraid of people censoring others with comments like, “Hey buddy, this is a family restaurant. Put that nose away.”

I am not a history buff, but that’s how I imagine underwear and pants started. There was a meat-eating bacteria terrorizing society’s groins, and the then-leaders of our communities pronounced: “You know? If we put on these pants over our junk for six weeks, we can get rid of this thing together. My pants protect you; your pants protect me.”

Eventually, we forgot we didn’t really need to wear pants anymore, but we kept on using them anyway.

That’s a real long-term threat of wearing masks for too long. In the meantime, I don’t have to wear a gaiter anymore. I fantasize about one day visiting the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, walking past that Asian grandma again, and not hacking my lungs in her face, even if an actual fly is walking down my throat.

Subscribe to my newsletter, Unequivocally Ambiguous!

(Often Humorous, Always Brilliant, Of Course!) Stories on Culture, Relationships and Travel


Leave a Reply

Recent Articles

Discover more from Unequivocally Ambiguous

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading