Jackie Wilson Asheeke

We have to endure the mask thing for a bit longer. So let us make the best of it.

Talk of a vaccine release is encouraging. But for all practical purposes, Namibia won’t see those shots for probably six months. And, we will never be able to afford a shot for every person. Currently, these vaccines being waved around require ice cold, Antarctic level freezers to be used (mobile units with 24/7/365 electricity is a MUST for storage, shipment and delivery). Currently, this country is not prepared to manage a vaccine that has such strict, severe, mandatory delivery requirements. But, we’ll get it eventually. Until then, let’s make wearing masks cool.

I have masks in various colours that match the clothes I am wearing. It sounds vain, but it makes an annoying requirement less odious. Check out this fashion idea – Wearing a denim filter lined mask with a denim vest, t-strap white cropped tank top and ripped-at-the- knee stretch blue jeans with some neatly heeled sandals and you are smokin’. Add bangles and huge hoop earring with greatly decorated eyes and a hairstyle to knock ‘em dead and you are a slayer!

Many ladies of fashion have put some emphasis on eye make-up, rather than lipstick in managing the masks. I’ve seen some great eye colours and styles these days. Wearing nice lipstick is a waste of time and messes up the inside of your mask anyway. I have stopped using all face powders as well.

People want self-expression even when wearing masks. I see them sportin’ earrings and flamboyant fingernails that shout “This is me! Deal with it!” They are wearing nice necklaces and fashion rings as well. Go down and buy some huge and gaudy earrings and bracelets to let your personality shine through when your smile is under cover.

Getting into sunshades is another path to self-expression. It covers your face even further when you are on the street, but I love it. I just bought another pair of shades with more colour to add some splash to the new me in the new normal. I matched the colours of my mask with the colours on the rims of my new sunglasses.

I was in the bank the other day and was handing in some papers and my ID to prove it was me. The lady at the desk said that she couldn’t see that it was really me. We both laughed and I removed my sunshades, but it made me realize how undercover these masks make us.

As a social commentator, I like being in plain sight, but under wraps. It seems to me that people who are masked are a bit blunter than they were normally. That can be either good or bad. I am an ‘in yo’ face’ sista’ from the ‘hood, so I like it when people say what they mean without fluff. But, that can go too far when anonymity makes people less sensitive about other people’s feelings. We must find a balance.

The couch cat suggests that people buy the sexiest, coolest shades they can find and roll. Get masks that match your look. Buy your other face ‘jewellery’ and have some fun during a stressful pandemic. When life gives you lemons; find a way to make delicious lemon-laced gin and tonics.