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Me and my mask – a hook up

I’ve always been wary of those around me who feel the need to gain attention by sharing their bodily fluids with anyone in the near vicinity; coughing and spluttering their intentions while you struggle to shield and make a hasty escape from the blast of droplets. Now, more than ever, we are doing our best to avoid other people and protect ourselves from exposure to COVID-19. It’s a challenging situation, however, knowing what we know now, perhaps it shouldn’t have been as much of a surprise as it was. So, the fact that Coronavirus is transmitted at close quarters through droplets in the air makes it a no brainer for me to wear a face covering or mask when in busy public spaces. So, here’s the story of my most recent informal ‘hook-up’ – with my facemask:

First introductions

It was a lovely summer’s day with a cool south westerly breeze late last year at a family BBQ where we first met. I had been sneezing like a trooper off and on during the afternoon, blessed hay fever. I’d run out of tissues, so had ventured inside to find more and thoroughly wash my hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds: unlike most people, I actually knew how to wash my hands before the year 2020. Many tunes have been suggested to sing to fill those 20 seconds, my personal recommendations are Beyoncé’s “Love on top” or Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off”.

Sneezing can be thirsty work, so I decided to quench my thirst with a large glass of cool refreshing water. While pouring another glass I was tapped on the shoulder and the introduction was made. My first hook up. The distraction was welcomed, not long into wearing this face covering and the sneezing begun to dissipate. However, after a few minutes I started to feel flushed and broke away, my excuse being I was grabbing a hamburger – masks and food still aren’t a brilliant match.

Pandemic: pushing me back into my hook-up’s path

In late March 2020, our paths crossed again, and this time I felt we had got along much better. Over the following weeks I hooked up a number of times, going for many short casual strolls around the local park, grabbing essential food and drink, and, in accordance with the then government guidelines even trying moderate exercising (not doing that again). I eased into our hook ups and set about embracing the situation, exploring lockdown together seemed to be going well.

A new routine

By early May, settled into a new reality I was getting used to a new routine. Working from home, learning new skills and connecting more with friends and family our hook ups became less frequent. When we did hook up it was clear that our connection had started fraying at the edges. I was feeling stifled, when I spoke I wasn’t being heard, I just couldn’t breathe anymore, this hook up had to end.

Looking for that perfect hook up online

I tried a few other hook ups from online, even joined a design event for hook ups but in the end found a great new hook up closer to home. It’s still early days but it seems to be working out well. Let’s see what the rest of summer brings.

Jacqui Thomas, London Vision Development Manager.

You can read more COVID-19 focussed content on our resources page.

Facemasks are now compulsory for travelling on public transport.

Want more information and advice for travelling on public transport? Read this article.


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