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The Mast-Head: Cheap Insurance

Fri, 11/26/2021 - 11:13

Other than everyone in masks on the plane, there was nothing much out of the ordinary about Alaska Air Flight 458. It seemed strange to travel again, being the first time that I had been aboard an aircraft since 2019. For the most part, passengers followed the rules, but there were a few people in the section around seat 18D who needed repeated reminders from the flight attendants to “Cover your nose.”

Ah, the nose. I spent probably too much time on a week’s recent round trip to the West Coast wondering what the nose is all about. For some, it is just forgetfulness, but for others, I think, it is a way to kind of comply while still sticking it to the authorities. One can see their reasoning: Since masks are no longer required in many places and something like half the population is vaccinated, what’s the point, they ask. 

On a run to New Hampshire to pick up this week’s East magazine — and a daughter coming home from college — I was disappointed by the lack of masks. This included aboard the New London ferry, where notifications that passengers must mask up while in the cabins were everywhere. It might be human nature to prioritize acting tough over caution, and we might not have put men on the moon had we been too risk-averse. 

My take is, “What the heck!” Masks are simple protection from Covid-19, as well as any number of other airborne viruses. And, until recently, I had been free of the common cold or anything like it for the past two years. For me, masks are cheap insurance; so what if I look like an extra on “Grey’s Anatomy”? 

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