My husband asked me to buy him a washable facemask. We have the other type, but he wanted something more permanent that we could launder.
No problem. The news media has been focusing heavily on the “new normal” and into the foreseeable future face masks are part of that discussion. Maybe he should get several.
As I was searching on-line, I simply looked up the product. Wow! In the blink of an eye, or at least in the blink of two months confined to my house, everything had changed. In addition to finding these ▼ on Amazon.com:
THE NEW NORMAL
The news media and the medical profession have hinted or straight out said that the new normal will include wearing masks to carry on everyday living, at least until a reliable vaccine has been found for Covid-19. We can get used to seeing them in grocery stores and restaurants.
FASHION TREND OF THE FUTURE
Since some enterprising humans never miss an opportunity, already the “fashion face mask” is making appearances at the Paris, London, and New York Fashion Weeks -- the big events of the fashion year – as the “must have” fashion accessory of the season.
Whether or not masks prove to protect people from exposure to Covid-19, once the trend hits the couture fashion market, you can be sure they will be around for a few years … even if their prophylactic value is zilch.
Photo Credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images Photo credit: Getty Images Photo Credit: Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows Photo source: hollywoodreporter.com/paris Photo source: sbs.com.au/niqab-banned Photo Source: nypost.com/face-masks
Photo Source: nypost.com/face-masks
There is nothing hypocritical about wearing a face mask, voluntarily or by order. Nobody wants to get sick, a most people don’t want to make others sick.
Here’s the thing. It wasn’t more than a couple of years ago that the US and countries in Europe were considering or passing laws to prohibit Muslin women (or men) to cover their faces. Muslim women following their religious beliefs were told that covering the face interfered with the communication necessary in an open society and couldn’t be allowed for security and identification reasons. In some countries where these laws were enacted, Muslim women were arrested and fined for covering their faces. Now, all of a sudden, there is nothing wrong with it. Here are some of the headlines and statements from among many in the news.
On 6 December 2016, Chancellor Angela Merkel said the wearing of “full-faced veils should be prohibited” in Germany "wherever it is legally possible". This statement was made after Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere made a proposal in August, 2016, to outlaw the burka - or any full-face veil - in public buildings.
Quebec’s Anti-Muslim Ban on the Veil
By Martin Patriquin - Nov. 8, 2017
This article discusses that Quebec, in 2017, put a ban on wearing face coverings by anyone giving or receiving a public service must do so without a covered face for “security or identification reasons.”
The Islamic Veil across Europe
May 31, 2018
Article reports that Austria’s ruling coalition agreed in January 2017 to prohibit full-face veils (niqab and burka) in public spaces such as courts and schools, with the law coming in to force in October the same year. The government said at the time it was considering a more general ban on state employees wearing the headscarf and other religious symbols. The coalition said that “full-face veils in public stood in the way of "open communication", which it said was fundamental to an "open society".
Western governments are telling Muslim women not to cover up
By Erasmus - Jul 10th 2019
France enacted a face mask law in 2010. This article indicates that France regulates religious apparel, and religion generally, “in a stricter way than any other democracy. The summer of 2016 was a torrid one for that country’s beaches, as many local authorities decreed bans on the burkini, a full-body swimsuit favored by some Muslim women. After weeks of nasty seaside scenes, the country’s highest administrative court ruled that the bans were an unacceptable curb on liberty.” Not about masks, but you get the idea.
Excuse me, but to my way of thinking, what’s happening right now is the epitome of hypocrisy. And I’m not the only one to notice.
Samuel Leighton-Dore (sbs.com.au/face-masks – March 10, 2020) writes, “ Social media users have pointed to the trend of face masks at Paris Fashion Week as evidence of hypocrisy from French leaders, after France became the first European country to impose a ban on full-face veils in public areas back in 2011."
I’m sure there are valid reasons why law enforcement and others want (and should) limit masks at certain types of events, but it should include all masks, face coverings, and face painting no matter who you are. Better minds than mine have debated this matter for a long time, and will continue to do so.
My only point in writing this is to point out how quickly society (human beings, if you choose) will drop one fear-opinion-prejudice in favor of something else we find more threatening. We ought to be able to admit that to ourselves.
WHICH OF THESE DO YOU FIND MOST THREATENING?
Photo Credit: Estrop/Getty Images - Marine Serre Fashion Collection Photo Credit: Kat, Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0 (cropped)
Photo Source: insider.com/marine-serre masks Photo Source: unu.edu/publications/prejudice
Photo Source: theepochtimes.com/mask-laws
To quote Namira Islam Anani@namirari
“And here I was told covering your face was objectively offensive and a security threat.”