Literatus: Some amusing ways of using masks, Pinoy style


THE content of this article may be offensive to some readers because of certain assumptions it makes.

First, the article assumes that Filipinos behave generally the same way to justify the “Pinoy style” phrase. For sure, not all Filipinos behave in the same manner. In fact, more Filipinos do not. Yet, these behaviors are seen among Filipinos, at least in the province I saw them in.

Second, the article also assumes that all Filipinos wear some form of a protective mask in public. The fact is that most Filipinos wear masks in public, but certainly a few do not. And they too, are Filipinos.

Nevertheless, these are how our fellow Filipinos wear their masks in public. This applies to males and females.

In the many times I’ve gone out for a few reasons, mostly to buy food, I have seen these behaviors so many times that it is reasonable to assume that these make up a resilient behavioral pattern.

First, some wear their masks but leave out covering their nose. Now, I get it. It is easy to understand this behavior. The person simply believes that breathing in Covid-19 through the mouth is more dangerous than breathing it in through the nose. Perhaps, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) should focus on educating people on this matter rather than ordering a “no back-rider” policy.

Second, more than twice, I saw fellow Filipinos wear their masks in public by covering their chin and not their nose or mouth. It makes me wonder why they brought with them a mask in the first place. It is simply a resistance to the “wear-a-mask” policy. In this too, the DOH and the DILG must focus instead their energy at implementing a sound mask-wearing policy.

Third, a majority of Filipinos I saw and continue to see wear a cloth-made mask, which are clearly homemade. The problem with these masks is the lack of quality control. In masks that use textiles that form lint after repeated use and washing, a respiratory risk is obvious when the lint, often in several strands of fiber, is breathed in. If it is stuck in the nose, it can cause nasal inflammation and even infection. If it reaches the lungs, then a more serious problem is possible because the lungs cannot digest textile fiber like the intestines.

However, if you see these behaviors in your community, do not laugh no matter how amusing these can be. Simply smile if you want to keep your distance. If you want to take a brotherly or sisterly role, simply approach them and explain the problem. Just hope that your explanation is not misunderstood as not minding your own business.

To dear readers who are doing this, at least you are informed now. Make sure you do not do it again for your sake, your family’s sake, and for the sake of the public.


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