The inseparable travel companion. Yes, the mask

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Emanuele Gagliardi’s comments

The inseparable travel companion. Yes, the mask

The inseparable travel companion. Yes, the mask

The inseparable travel companion. Yes, the mask

The mask has become, for most of us, an inseparable travel companion. It follows us everywhere, ready to take action at the right time: to avoid, as far as possible, letting us fully join the long list of people infected with the coronavirus, with all the risks and dangers involved. Numerous are those who wear it regularly and in the places indicated: then, there are others who disagree about the situations in which this protection should be triggered. The debate is often lively, as are the opinions of experts at times. The masks, however, (attention, the regular and not fake ones), will still accompany us for several weeks: until the all-clear is given, in a clear and safe way, by those in charge. Once, before leaving the house, as we walked towards the door, we make a quick summary of everything we must have on or in our bag to be safe: not to forget anything essential that could ruin our day, an appointment, a lunch, the guide of the car. Now, when we go towards the exit, our thoughts immediately turn to the mask, or rather the masks that must follow us during our absences from the house. There are those who leave an envelope with these protections in the car for safety, those who put them in the appropriate cases or in an envelope and put them, safely, in a pocket of their raincoat or overcoat.

Now there are places where the mask is a must: there are also those who wear this protection once they leave the house and, practically, keep it glued to their face (in some country close to us, now, this is, however, the rule). We saw someone on the street shouting to his friend (also masked) planting himself in front of him (in spite of the safety distance): ‘Hello, it’s me, don’t you recognize me?’. And the other, almost bewildered, apologizing by saying: ‘’m sorry but I can only see your eyes’. There are motorists, alone in the car, who drive the car wearing a mask. Super provident people, except that in some cases they still hold the cell phone in one hand and talk quietly with interlocutors who, perhaps, will also have a little difficulty listening to what the other is saying.

In the shops now you must move with adequate protection of the mouth and nose. Before entering it is useful (often you are invited thanks to signs placed in plain sight) to disinfect your hands. Once inside, purchases are made (for certain products there is an indication to wear gloves, placed in plain sight). A few days ago in a large sales area we witnessed a couple of episodes which, for a moment, attracted the attention of quite a few customers. We were faced with two elderly ladies, probably sisters who were shopping. At one point, one of them left the trolley telling the other that she was going to get some detergent, she isappeared behind a shelf, she returned shortly after, at a brisk pace. Her hand covered her face (lowered) and she approached her sister who asked her in alarm: ‘What happened?’ Some customers stopped, surprised. It took a while for the lady in question to remove her hand from her face, explaining to her joint that the elastic of the mask had broken. ‘And now how do I do it? What do I tell the cashier?’ The alarm lasted a few seconds because the sister, looking quickly at those who had stopped, removed a mask (contained in an envelope) from her bag, gave it to the woman saying aloud: ‘Problem solved’.

Time to pay for the shopping and we arrive at the checkout. Some young people preceded us, all regularly wearing masks. They were probably going to a party because they bought groceries and drinks. The group was closed by a boy holding a bottle of whiskey in his hand. He deposited it at the start of the product conveyor belt and went to wait for her in front of the cashier. The other friends had paid for their purchases and were waiting for him at the entrance. The cashier’s question came suddenly: ‘How old are you?’ The young man instinctively put his hand to his mask, but the saleswoman continued: ‘Don’t take off your mask, give me a document’ ‘Forgotten’ the boy murmured, leaving the bottle on the counter and heading towards the exit under the embarrassed gaze of his companions. The cashier, without saying anything, took the bottle and put it in safety.

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