OPINION:

Covid may be here to stay, but these behaviours need to go right now. For all of our sakes.

Master the mask

If avoiding lockdowns means wearing a mask like most of the rest of the world is doing, then I’m in. It’s amazing, though, how such a little piece of fabric can be so complex. Mask wearing is incredibly simple; hook the straps around your ears and position the mask over both nose and mouth so that you can’t breathe in anyone’s germs and you can’t expel your breath onto anyone else.

To that end, not all masks are made the same. I had to comment on an interesting mask I saw in use at Pak’nSave. The nylon and fleece-lined airline-issued sleep mask must have been a real beggar to breathe in, even if it was only wide enough to cover one orifice, but it made for a good belly laugh when the wearer learned its intended use.

Learn to video call NOW

Thank you, tech gods, for video calls – but it’s time we learned to use them properly. Especially with TV news interviewing people via video call, I am sick of seeing up nostrils, the roofs of mouths, or massive amounts of (albeit clothed) underboob.

Quick tips for video calls include: propping your device up on books or a box so you are looking directly into the screen and not down on an angle. Don’t angle the screen or device too much. Face the light so we can see your face. Try a location that will cushion the sound with carpets, curtains and the like, otherwise you risk sounding like you are broadcasting from a public toilet block.

Learn to move on

We’ve all missed out on events, holidays, and seeing people, but it’s time to move on. If you are still talking about the holiday you couldn’t take in 2020 and are expecting people to be interested or sympathetic, then it’s time to let that go. I speak for many others when I say that I don’t care. Missing funerals and getting to see loved ones when they are ill, old, newly born, or before they pass away are my only exemptions to this rule. I am very sympathetic to these stories.

Stop being selfish

Selfishness has crept in and it’s not good. Thinking rules don’t apply to you, mingling with others when you or someone in your home is sick, not wearing your mask properly – they are all pathetic selfish behaviours. It’s not fair on everyone else who is playing by the rules, it’s not fair on people whose jobs and businesses rely on us having an open economy, and it’s not fair on employees who have to spend their days awkwardly asking people to wear a mask or wait their turn, with fear of aggressive repercussions.

Release unrealistic expectations

Lockdown is hard. Uncertainty is hard. Not knowing when this will end or exactly how we are going to get out of it is hard. But harder still is insisting that you or others adhere to a set of standards that right now may be impossible to achieve. I’m all for learning a new skill or working on a new project, but I’m also all for embracing days when you feel really bummed out about life and don’t achieve anything on your to-do list. Lockdowns give us more time for introspection, which a lot of us don’t like, and flogging yourself for not progressing or performing like you were in 2019 needs to stop right now.

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