Coronavirus has us all spiraling. Normal activities like hanging out at the bar are over while even walking down the street can be difficult to accomplish within the confines of social distancing. And many are asking, “How do I smile at people while wearing a mask?”
This is particularly hard for me, a person who never smiled at strangers before this.
I’m told people smile at each other to signal ease, but as someone who prefers to mind their own business, I wonder, how do you draw upon a feeling deep enough to produce a smile for a stranger you don’t know? And how do they see it under your mask?
People who smile a lot tend to have wrinkles and crows feet that could indicate a hidden smile. Their formidable smiling muscles pucker at the mask.
But I can barely produce a smile for some random person, let alone one that could be registered from within the confines of a mask. Maybe a brief smirk? Don’t ask me for more.
So maybe we should all give up on smiling at strangers and trying to lift anyone’s spirits in the midst of a pandemic. Doing so creates an uneven playing field where my herculean efforts to acknowledge other human beings go unappreciated.
Why do we need the smiles, anyway?
Or the masks? But don’t get me started on that.