One year has passed since the Indian pandemic, and for me, the strangest thing is my health. Like most (but not all) people I see on the street, I have been covered up for the past 12 months. I washed my hands religiously to avoid crowding. As a result, this is the first time in my life that I have not caught a cold.
This is amazing. Living in Delhi is crowded with people, and the sudden change of seasons usually means that people will pick up almost all the bugs.
I don’t like masks. Moreover, in the steam bath summer of northern India, something on your face can be suffocating. But I found myself hoping that the habit of wearing a mask will still exist after the epidemic is over.
Of course, this is not always the case. This may require too much. But wouldn’t it be great if urban residents around the world started to behave more like residents of East Asia? If during the flu season, people plan to wear masks when flying or gathering with people? So if they found themselves sniffing, they grabbed a mask on the way out the door?
I realize that it may be difficult to realize this dream in some parts of the world. This century has set an absurdly high standard for party relations and polarization, but even according to these standards, the conversion of wearing a mask into political speech in the United States and elsewhere is shocking.
Of course, of all things that can prevent the spread of diseases, wearing a mask is the easiest to understand. Instead, it seems that the entire human race thinks it is completely polite to cough on people’s faces.
The health authorities have never been as sensitive as they are now: in March last year, remember that people like Dr. Anthony Fucci told Americans that “there is no reason to walk around wearing a mask.” Then they changed their minds. , Inconsistent messaging can still cause damage.
At least in my opinion, masks have always been the silver lining of this bad year, and there is another reason for this. Last March, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Narendra Modi) ordered India to become one of the most restrictive blockades in the world. The market is closed, delivery stops, no one can buy anything, but I feel very rich. Because I was lying at the door of the Delhi apartment, so there were a lot of N95 masks.
This is not because I miraculously foresaw this pandemic. (If there was, I would have been short the market instead of buying masks.) When the virus news appeared, I did not hoard masks either.
The reason for wearing a mask on my hand is simple: I bought a lot of masks earlier in the winter. Not because of fear of flu, but because in Delhi, even breathing is dangerous. This is the most polluted megacity in the world. By 2020, two-thirds of the most polluted cities in the world will be in India, and most of them will be in the northern plains near Delhi. The air quality faced by wise people is ten times worse than it should be, so wear a mask to protect the lungs.
However, the first few times I wore a mask to Delhi, I felt very stupid. In the days before the JP pandemic, no one around me wore it. They stood in the warm winter, chatting with each other, breathing heavily in the gray and poisonous air.
This is another reason that makes me happy that people have become accustomed to wearing and looking at masks. Even if there is no pandemic around, no mask can kill you in Delhi.