How to be a Polite Delight in a Pandemic.
With the majority of the year dedicated to our new least-favorite parasite, it’s nearly impossible to get mask-wearing 100% right all of the time. The world may be chaotic, but that’s no reason to let our manners fall by the wayside. Instead of giving up or getting upset, let’s take a lighthearted look at some everyday ways to be more polite throughout the pandemic.
Coffee Shop Courtesy
You’re chit chatting over coffee on the patio and decide to head in for another cup. Since we’re not required to wear a mask while eating or drinking (for obvious reasons), it can be easy to forget to re-mask when approaching the register or milk station. While we’re all for forgetting COVID troubles over a good cup of Joe, it’s important to keep mask-wearing a priority. If you’ve made this mistake, try making up a mnemonic device such as “Stand Up, Mask Up’ to help you avoid a breakfast blunder.
Refine Your Requests
We’ve all been there. You’re doing your best to remember your mask, wash your hands, and keep social distance when you suddenly spot a person without a mask––or more irritating, a mask worn under the nose or chin. Before assuming you’ve encountered a fabled anti-masker, consider a few times when you might have forgotten your mask when leaving the house. While it’s tempting to yell obscenities while driving by a non-masked person (as we have personally witnessed someone do), the likelihood that anger will change their behavior is next to nothing. Instead, try a more understanding, more polite approach such as, “Psst...your mask has slipped down.” or “I’m concerned about my health, can you please wear a mask?”
Dingy Masks are a Don’t
They say character is what you do when no one is watching. A dingy or dirty mask may not always be obvious to outsiders, but if you’ve worn yours out several times or have traveled with a mask, do the polite thing and wash or replace it before stepping out. Unsightly makeup marks or dirty edges can make others uncomfortable and may indicate that your mask isn’t up to the job of fending off our microscopic nemesis. The same goes for damaged masks. A quick re-tie of a snapped elastic string is fine in a pinch, but a backup mask is even better. If you’re wondering where to buy face masks, check out GIR’s collection of premium silicone masks. Take it a step further with GIR’s stick-on mask filters for extra protection.
Case in Point
Knowing where to stash your mask is just as important as remembering to wear one. There’s no telling what lurks on the outside of your face covering, so it’s best to keep the germs tucked away when you’re not wearing it. GIR’s face mask travel case is a great way to get dirty masks off the table, door handle, or chair arm. The case comes in 4 stylish colors and has compartments for your mask and filters. Keep one by the door or on your keys, and consider carrying an extra mask kit in your purse, gym bag, or laptop bag. Want extra etiquette points? Lend one to a friend if needed. The masks can be easily sanitized and the filters are disposable.
It’s important to stay vigilant––even during brief encounters. Be a dear and make sure to have your mask properly fitted over your mouth and nose when walking or exercising. That 6am run may seem isolated enough to leave the house without a mask, but all it takes is a few obstacles to make running into another runner unavoidable. Walkers should also practice mask mindfulness when out and about. Social distancing is great when it works, but if you find yourself walking around someone who has stopped to tie their shoe, you’re likely going to walk closer to others than you probably should.
Proper mask etiquette is a simple way to maintain civility during this absolutely ridiculous year. Let’s look on the bright side, show empathy towards others, and mind our manners by masking up with a clean, undamaged mask fresh from a sanitary case. Together, we can keep safe and sane during this trying time...and maybe even look a little stylish while doing so.