02C2D: Masking Considerations

Masks On

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 1049

During my recent trips to Singapore, I've become very comfortable with not wearing a mask anymore. To be fair, it's not like I go around as much while I'm there and most of the trips I do take involve riding along with family. I don't really leave the immediate area and not wearing masks outdoors has been the norm there for quite some time. 

Back here, Tobie and I are still pretty strict when it comes to mask usage down to taking the time to put one on when just going down to the ground floor to pick up a delivery. That's not entirely paranoid given we do live in a condo and any trip down means potentially sharing the small elevator space with someone else. But even when we're outside, we mainly default to keeping our masks on when it's not actually required in most public spaces.

I know this reflects our level of trust (or perhaps more the lack thereof) when it comes to other people. Metro Manila is pretty well-populated and malls or supermarkets will typically have a LOT of people clustered in an indoor space. So this feels justifiable versus how less people-rich most parts of Singapore can be outside of the downtown shopping district. But this doesn't explain our behavior outdoors when we're just walking around BGC and such. 

I know this also reflects the prevailing culture - it's not like we're the only ones wearing masks in public. Especially when it comes to indoor public spaces, you're still going to see that most people have their masks on. And people like being part of the larger group behavior in such circumstances and we're all exerting a degree of social pressure on one another for as long as we're part of the majority.

I don't know how long this is going to last. Tobie and I have noted that more and more people haven't been wearing masks at the mall even during the busiest weekends, so clearly there's a growing movement to shift. Or maybe movement is the wrong term - people are just relaxing in their own way and are taking the opportunity to go back to pre-pandemic behaviors.

I'm pretty sure that Tobie and I will continue to err on the side of caution for at least a while longer. We're still thinking about our respective parents and other family members. Plus we stay home more often than not, so it seems like it would be such a shame if we relaxed at the wrong moment and then complicated things unnecessarily. But we're still going out and I know we're not as mask-anxious at O Bar as we used to be. We still keep masks at the ready and I try to keep mine on while I'm recording the performances on my phone since I don't really drink a lot while doing so. It's the little things, right? These have kept us safe thus far *knocks on wood*

No real conclusion to this post - just something I was thinking about while in the shower earlier.