Planet of the Masks!

This post is not based on any scientific studies and doesn’t endorse or deny wearing of Masks or any other personal protective equipment… is is again a simple view of the world as I see it!! Enjoy!

Seems like a long time ago, that was me on May 6th, 2020, after 45 days of lockdown and staying at home ventured out to travel to Kansas City from Phoenix. Masks were suggested still not enforced strictly at that time. Little that I know, that this will be my look for rest of 2020.

Remember in April 2020 we couldn’t buy masks as they were in such short supply (Toilet Paper too… haha)? We were told masks are not required and then may be for some and then yes, they reduce spread and now it is mandatory!! I remember buying my first masks from my favorite Jean store Aviator when they offered a cotton pack of 3 with 10 day waiting period. I somehow never felt that comfortable in the surgical masks as they looked flimsy.

Fast forward September 2020, finally started my trip to India after 6 months and now that I seen people wearing masks in various parts of the world, I am starting to realize we are now “the planet of masks!!” Just like in the movie a virus spreads and everyone turns into mask wearing humans! Well, it is impressive that a virus made people wear masks in the majority of the world.. by fear, by law or by education most people seem to cover with something on their face. We all seen different kind of mask wearers…. they come in all colors, shapes and expressions… people wear them properly, half hanging, mouth only, always hanging on the ear, etc., so here are some my most interesting mask wearers:

  • The Mask Nazi, wears everywhere, barely removes to drink or eat and looks at others not wearing as criminals and wants to drive home the point of wearing of masks… we all ran into one I am assuming
  • The reluctant one, doesn’t want to wear it, don’t want people to discriminate, keeps one hanging on year or below chin and based on circumstance or people around pulls it on painfully….
  • The follower, wears one, but not sure why or proper handling… may cover full mouth or not, keeps handling it just like everything else, throws them on every surface, doesn’t wash or change… but hey I am wearing it… what’s your problem??
  • Don’t care, the one that wears may be now and then tells people that they are crazy or has their own excuse of not wearing.. the denier of all theories
  • Not wearing, Doesn’t wear one at all – I just noticed vegetable cutters for the restaurant below my office that all have no masks and when I asked why not, they said you can’t slice onions with a mask.. it gets wet (true I guess) … it goes on and on and on… so who is right?

When I started my trip to India, I packed enough masks with me and was ready to endure 2+ days of living under the mask during the trip.

  • Delta flights till Atlanta – they reminded you often, allowed you to remove when you eat and drink, reminded people to put it back on politely and announced no masks with ventilators all allowed! – ok, good start
  • Delta flight Atlanta to Paris – now I had a flat bed seat, enclosed, not many people in the cabin, crew all wearing masks and gloves… when I slept, I didn’t realized it came off… no pressure… not strict enforcement but reasonable… not that bad huh! – Wait, we have to switch to surgical masks? That’s right… France’s policy requires everyone to wear disposable surgical masks… what? that’s right, no cloth masks or covering… strictly surgical masks – so we were supplied with those, so the 2 1/2 hours transit was all with this surgical mask.. Oh well… oh and by the way the social distancing requirement was 1 meter… that is 3.33 ft. I guess that is good enough there.
  • Before boarding the flight to Delhi, India – we were given a new surgical mask, a disposable face shield – and were told that when we disembark in India, we had to wear both. Some passengers didn’t understand instructions and put them on before boarding… Are they really prepared to wear those for the 8 1/2 hour flight? Geez.
  • Just before landing in India – the crew put on surgical gowns also along with face shields and masks and taking selfies… on a casual chat I was told only India requires these and they wanted to see how they looked in those outfits!
  • Now after landing in India and the experiences are so many, this blog won’t be enough to explain, but when I got out after a lot of confusion, this is the scene outside of international arrivals!

This is not a red cross camp, it is people that are so scared to go out and spending time inside terminal waiting for flights next day… I managed to stay in the lounge and went to board my last flight from Delhi to Hyderabad… this is where shock and awe happened!!!

The Air India flight from Delhi to Hyderabad was on an Airbus 320 with 180+ passenger capacity and there were 180 passenger on it… no empty seats. The pre-boarding area was chaotic, people having to fill manual health declaration forms and some getting face shields and some both shield and surgical disposable gown, I didn’t know what the criteria was. So when I finally boarded I realized I was in the the Planet of MASKS! It was bizarre… it was like being inside of an operation theater… to top of it all here is my flight attendant below!

I started to think… should I even travel? But what the heck, I am almost there. You can never be too careful… so good for them. So we took off, and we were told multiple times to wear masks, don’t getup and use toilets unless absolutely needed, etc. So far so good… THEN………

They distribute food boxes with packaged items to the entire plane… Face Shields off… masks off… people leaning into each other trying to eat the bland and crappy snacks… what happened here? we were all so careful and these 15 minutes of insanity completely destroyed the precautions everyone took to board? I rest my case!!!

In conclusion… Who is right? W.H.O? USA with variety of Masks? French with Surgical masks or the billions of people that are adopting their own methods of face coverings… I am not the one to judge… I don’t have any scientific studies to make any recommendations… I try to take care of myself as much as possible and there is always that chance of infection no matter what.

The impact of this infection is deep, scary at times and you can see in the people’s faces around the world, the stress it has created!!!

Let’s hope it is going to end soon and Stay Safe!!

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