Throughout this whole pandemic I have found it hard not think judgemental thoughts about people who lose their cloth masks whenever I see one on the street. I have judgemental thoughts about people who let single use masks clutter up gutters and nature strips as well, but the loss of a cloth mask seems to hit me differently.
How difficult is it to keep track of a mask that you need to wear every time you leave your house? How come I don't see wallets, smartphones and sets of keys littering the ground with the same frequency? I've had the same cloth mask for the entire pandemic! I should probably wash it... Unfortunately yesterday I was packing my things for the physio and I realised I couldn't find my mask anywhere. I was sure I'd put it in my pocket after visiting the supermarket that morning, but now that the days are warming up I've been wearing gym shorts everywhere lately and unlike jeans the pockets tend to prolapse when taking one thing out of them, the rest of the contents can tend to follow. I lost a dog poo bag just this way earlier in the week when I took my phone out.
Losing my mask hit me hard. Not only because now I was judging myself as careless and unintelligent, but because it's been a familiar part of my life the entirety of 2021. I bought it for my trip to Brisbane last December, did not need it for much of the year after that, but after the Modbury Cluster and the South Australian mask mandate it's been a daily companion. Considering this week was also the week I pushed my Galaxy Note 8 into a post-box after three and a half years of loyal service, and also relegated my primary pair of sneakers since 2019 to gardening duties only, life felt tumultuous. This was not the kind of change that spring was supposed to be about. As if to prove a point, the weather change from Thursday set the temperature dropping and I had to put my jumper on from Thursday morning, in which I found my mask in one of the pockets.