Your nose isn’t that attractive

Stuart Lombard

I saw him walking through the dining hall, mask hanging lazily under his nose. Just another guy seemingly unable to wear a mask properly. Then, he reached up, and my spirits soared hopefully. Ah, it just slipped, he’s going to fix it. Then he scratched his nose and kept walking. This has to stop.
When I see people wearing their face mask below their nose, I cannot help feeling disgusted and vexed. What idiots, don’t they know that they’re entirely defeating the purpose of wearing a mask in the first place? They are not actually helping anyone. In fact, they might as well not even be wearing a mask.
It is not merely an Augustana phenomenon. Each week, I see countless people, all men from my observations, at HyVee displaying the same behaviour. And the problem stretches far beyond our small Quad City community.
On Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, New York Times columnist James Gorman wrote about the series of men at the event who were masking incorrectly, including Bill Clinton and John Roberts. To describe the phenomenon, he coined the term ‘manslipping’.
Do they know why they are supposed to wear a mask? Why are they doing so? Because someone told them that it was a requirement to wear one on campus, or because they know that by doing so they are protecting others and themselves? I had to find an explanation.
Explanation 1: It is harder to breathe in a mask. Of course it is. Thinking back to the early days of the pandemic, I remember mildly hyperventilating when going to the grocery store.
Some materials are better than others for this. I have found that polyester masks are the worst, cotton are better, and I know people who swear by the single use blue procedural masks.
Wearing a mask is uncomfortable. So is getting COVID.
Explanation 2: You don’t believe the science and think mask wearing is a nuisance.
Science is not a belief system. Thinking like a scientist involves allowing your views to change when new studies are conducted and new guidance is published by reputable organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If you don’t believe science, stay home.
Explanation 3: You don’t know why you are wearing a mask.
This is a serious problem. Whenever we are told to do things we have the right to know why. Knowing why makes it easier to accept. The CDC has a lovely page with all the information you need.
We all signed the Augie Allies pledge. By signing, each one of us agreed to follow the masking guidelines. It is for the good of the community. The pledge was a social contract that allowed us to return to campus in the midst of a raging pandemic.
If you are not covering your nose, you are not fully wearing a mask. Not wearing a mask in public places puts others and yourself in danger. It is a violation of the pledge.
In the end, there are no excuses for going halfway with masking. Suck it up buttercup. Either pull up your mask and wear it properly, or stay out of public places.