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English has a very large vocabulary, so it is intriguing that I can still find concepts for which there is not yet a specific term. The term I am looking for is one that means to be simultaneously both “amused” and “annoyed”.
What currently provokes this emotion? Every now and then, someone passes me in the street wearing a surgical mask. I saw the same nonsense with swine flu.
Surgical masks don’t work that way! A surgical mask does not protect you from airborne infectious agents. It does not protect the wearer, it is intended to protect the rest of the world from the wearer. If a surgeon is operating on a patient, he or she uses a mask. If they are operating on an infectious patient, they wear a space-helmet affair with powered air filtration. Don’t take my word for it, read this or this or do some research of your own.
Now perhaps I am just being grumpy, and every person I see is selflessly trying to protect everyone else from their own infections. If so, staying at home might have been a more prudent move. But since I am cynical as well as grumpy, I very much doubt it. Unlike thirty years ago, information on such matters is readily available. It is both impressive and depressing that people can still be so ignorant and foolish.
Want to really avoid coronavirus? A good start is to keep your fingers out of your mouth or up your nose and follow all those other manners people were once taught but are now neglected. A radical idea would be to put your phone back in your pocket. That way you might have a chance of spotting someone coughing and sneezing, or more likely threats like traffic! As a friend of mine recently remarked: “Hoarding sanitizer is stupid. You can only sanitize your own hands so many times. If everyone else around you can’t, that’s going to do much more to spread the disease than you only sanitizing your hands x number of times.” People fixate on sanitizer and forget old fashioned soap is an excellent anti-microbial agent.