Being an accounting of the recent and continuing pandemic and its various circumstances, from the perspective of an inhabitant of the regions lately called the Lost Quarter. Dates unknown.
Day Thirty Eight
I walk purposely down the road, a mask snuggly about my face. It feels strange, like a foreign appendage, one that I am perpetually aware of. My warm breath rebounds back on me and I fight the near constant urge to adjust it and fiddle with the straps.
Masks are strange things. They disguise you in one sense, muffling your features and making you harder to read, not that I need any help in that regard. But they also draw attention. One cannot disappear with a mask. If a masked man enters a bank everyone knows to watch that person intently (or gets the fuck out).
There are those who say the only way forward to return to normalcy requires that everyone don masks before leaving their homes. As with the letters of transit, it will just become a part of daily life, as normal as anything can be now. Perhaps then the strangeness of them will abate, to be replaced by something new. For everything is new now, the very fundamentals of our lives.
Until then I plan to stalk the streets, imagining I am inhabiting some post-apocalyptic future, plague ridden and crumbling, where survival necessitates masking and cloaking ourselves against the remnants of the contagion on those rare occasions where we are forced to leave our homes.