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Yup, I am still spending time in the same waiting area of the same prestigious private hospital and watching people. Today I have set my eyes on masks worn by those entering the building. Now that vaccines are on the horizon, masks may not be around for long. Therefore I better hurry and note down my classification of them.

Masks are of different kinds, surgical masks, cloth masks, N95 masks, so on and so forth. But these classifications are passé. Masks also can be classified as white, blue, black, or just about any color. They come in prints, also with contrast piping. Some have loops to slip on ears, others are tied behind the head. Again, meh. Not interesting enough as classifications go. What I have in mind is something different, a categorization according to how they are worn by the general public. So, here goes:

  1. FULL MASK: These are the unexciting kind of masks, worn by ‘boring’ and ‘sensible’ people who prefer to follow the guidance of those more knowledgeable among them, and fully covers mouth and nose of wearer. Very few people fall in this category of masking themselves, preferring the other more dangerous and exciting ways of doing it.
  2. THE BANDANA MASK: The nose, mouth and also ears are covered by those who use this type of mask. Used by the extra cautious, they are not the kind to leave anything to chance. Never mind if the lower flap is not tight around your chin, you are covered and that is what matters.
  3. LEAVE THE NOSE FREE MASK: As the name suggests, those who fall in this category keep their mask pulled down below the nose leaving it free… to do its bit in spreading the virus. Though they look like they are friends of humanity, those who fall in this category are in reality secretly working for the enemy and are traitors to the cause.
  4. THE CHIN MASK: Due to ignorance or lack of proper biology lessons in school (or because they just do not care), there are some people who believe that the virus enters and exits the body via their chins, and so they cover their chin. (I can almost imagine a harried science teacher yelling, “No Jai. humans do NOT breathe or eat through their chin! How many times have I told you to listen in class?”) Opinion differs on whether those in the Chin Mask category are merely an ignorant lot or willful double-traitors to the cause of humans, or are both combined. For some reason these kind of masks are most popular among the politicians of our country.
  5. BIKINI MASK: As the name suggest, these masks are modeled on the bikini, the bare minimum kind. They just about manage to cover the nose ends and the lower lip. A slight movement, like a word or two spoken, causes a wardrobe malfunction exposing either the nostril holes or the lower lips and teeth.
  6. DON’T KNOW WHY MASK: The last in my categorization is a mask worn by aliens who have just landed on Earth from some other galaxy, or are humans who have been living under a rock. Apparently they think a mask is merely some sort of dress code of humans to be followed for no particular reason. When they need to cough, or feel a sneeze coming, they remove the mask and let go, freely spraying surroundings of their fluids while those around them learn much to their chagrin that ignorance is not really bliss.

I can’t think of any more, for now. If any more come to mind, I will update the list. What about you all, do you have any of your own to share? 😉

© Shail Mohan 2021