Who knew donning a mask would become an integral part of our daily lives. Once upon a time, primarily used for filtering pollen and dust, the MASK has now adopted a new role in our routine to become a mandatory accessory. Is it here to stay?

We are swamped with do’s and don’ts of wearing a mask, tutorials have been launched to demonstrate how and when this needs to be used. Mistakes people make while wearing a mask? Really? Did anyone of us reading this think we would be overwhelmed with news about Masks while shuffling through TV channels to look for something completely unrelated.

Let us digress from the medical requirement of it for today. I was wondering if it is suddenly okay to walk into a bank wearing a face mask and gloves? Last, I recollect tellers requesting customers to remove a cap or sunglasses, leave alone anything that obscures the face. Is this going to be another one of those changes that have taken banks long to get people to comply with?

Umm, okay, so how does face recognition work on our phones? Do I instantaneously go into a parallel world of a chronicles of Narnia, a Mary Poppins, where I am teleported into a dreamland the moment I open that device because if I can unlock it with a mask on, anything is possible. Well, come to think of it, this! I could live with.

Going by what I read, another emerging challenge is vanity. The fashion trends are shifting focus to designer masks and match your outfit ones that are taking popularity by storm. Granted, mask-designing has become a new source of revenue for many who await the “next normal” to kick in. So much for the global fashion statistics being valued in trillions of dollars where virtual meet culture has now taken precedence minimizing consumer demands.

What about the ‘I do’ moments? Does a veil get replaced by a mask? Tiara with a mask? I don’t think so! ‘You may now kiss the bride’ will become quite a daunting task, eh! Does anyone else envision a wedding ceremony with may be 20 people, give or take, wearing snazzy, matching masks. Breathtaking in its most literal sense.

My personal question has been to mask or to not mask while getting fresh air outdoors. Critics say they are concerned about carbon dioxide build-up while wearing masks, especially for runners.  Many argue that as long as you’re not running into many people, it is advisable to exercise unmasked, the latter being more enticing, of course. I remain perplexed with all the contradicting information I “run” into.

The other day, My Sister and I had a “real” conversation on whether the beauty industry will take a hit on the sale of lipsticks and gloss. We concluded by voting that eye makeup will see a remarkable surge in sales this year. While many might find this discussion trivial and unnecessary, I think its noteworthy because it is safe to reiterate that the pandemic has affected us in more ways than we can fathom.

There are statistics and charts that showcase what this has done to so many industries with aviation sectors heavily bearing the burden of their core business. The fact is that our plight is no longer constrained to jobs, monetary, medical and tangible issues, it has long surpassed that to permeate to our basic mindsets, lifestyle and emotional quotients. What measures can we adopt to revive ourselves from this crisis unleashed, called mask-economy? Do we choose co-dependency over counter-dependency?

Dear Readers, this is not meant to be an educational read by any means because I believe the Experts are handling that segment very well. I would like to leave the readers with supremely open minded thoughts to reflect on the last couple of months and decide on what other curves we need to flatten, as a community, to move ahead safely yet progressively. As stir crazy as the thought may be, take a chance on it because contrary to all statements, I do believe there will be a normal again.