According to The Book of Northern Qi, Martial Prince of Lan Ling Changgong (蘭陵武王長恭) had a beautiful appearance and voice, so he wore a mask in battle to scare his enemies. This mask was not shameful; The Book of Northern Qi praises him for being a fierce military commander. Nor does the book shame him for looking ‘soft’ and beautiful (as far as I can tell, I suck at Classical Chinese so I might be missing nuances; the words used to describe him supposedly suggest he has an androgynous look.) So we have someone who is physically beautiful, and this is good, and he covers his beauty with a mask, which is also good. He’s been part of Chinese culture for over a thousand years, and his story also spread to Japan. And possibly other East Asian cultures.
All the connotations of the Prince of Lan Ling wearing a mask are good. He wasn’t hiding anything bad; beautiful faces are good. He also did nothing bad by putting on the mask; scaring the shit out of enemies was also good. Nothing about this cost him respect.
Following up on last week’s post, I’m going to tell you what I find comfortable in cloth masks. Does everyone have the same preferences as me? No. That’s fine. I’m not trying to convince you to have the same cloth mask preferences as me. My goal is to make you think about your own preferences by sharing details about my preferences. If double layered 30 dernier calendered nylon taffeta masks with metal nose bands and elastic ea rloops are the most comfortable cloth mask for you, that’s great. I wouldn’t want to wear such a mask, but that’s me, not you.
The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) and the POTUS say that, as a fully vaccinated person, I may stop wearing masks in public.
Guess what? I’m still mask up other people.
Am I certain it’s necessary? No. But it’s low cost. I already have double-layered masks which are as comfortable as t-shirts, seal well, are easy to wash, and look pretty. As long as coronavirus deaths per year in California exceed flu deaths in California during a typical flu season, I’m masking up. It’s the last pandemic habit I’ll drop. If I have doubts, I’ll err on the side of wearing masks. I’ll ditch physical distancing rules before I give up masks.
I don’t mind people running outside or riding bicycles without masks, even if they aren’t vaccinated. Outdoor runners/cyclists pass other people too quickly to spread coronavirus. Some people can’t use masks for medical/health/disability reasons. Otherwise, we should keep using masks.
When even t-shirts are uncomfortable, I might take off my mask outdoors when I’m far from others. That’s it.