David Biggs writes that wearing a mask is not really much of a problem, apart from the fact that there are occasions when masks can be less than useful. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency/ANA
David Biggs writes that wearing a mask is not really much of a problem, apart from the fact that there are occasions when masks can be less than useful. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency/ANA

The pros and cons of being faceless

By Opinion Time of article published Feb 23, 2021

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by David Biggs

Like everybody else (almost) I spend a great deal of my life lurking behind a mask these days. I suppose that’s going to be the norm for some time.

It’s not really much of a problem, apart from the fact that I have a big blobby nose and have to choose a large baggy mask to contain it. Still, I like to think I’m doing my bit to stop the spread of the virus.

There are occasional times when masks can be less than useful. There was an incident recently when 40 gangsters stormed into a Cape Town car showroom and demanded free cars.

When the staff refused to hand over free vehicles the gangsters got aggressive and smashed a whole lot of cars, bashing the bodywork, destroying windscreens and lights, ripping upholstery and messing up the paintwork.

The damage ran into many thousands of rands and the whole disgusting event was caught on closed circuit security cameras.

Sadly no arrests are likely because all the TV footage shows is 40 faceless people, only eyes and masks.They could be anybody. Come to think of it, where were you last Tuesday?

Local schools have reopened and our village newspapers have been full of photographs of this year’s pupils in their new school uniforms.

One picture showed the new students’ representative council. I’m sure each of those young people will cut out that photo and paste it proudly in a scrap book.

The problem is that it will be meaningless after a year or so. All the smart students are shown wearing masks. Just a group of school uniforms topped by masks and eyes.

I wonder whether the world would have been a more dangerous place if the photographer had said: “I’m going to take the picture now, so please remove your masks for just five seconds.”

Hardly a “super-spreader event,” I’d think.

Still, we have to look at the bigger picture, I suppose. If a showroom full of wrecked cars and a school photograph of faceless pupils help to stem the spread of Covid-19, that’s the price we have to pay.

Last Laugh:

After being married for a torrid 45 years, Joe went to his lawyer and said he wanted to make a new will. “What do you want to put in your will?” Asked the lawyer.

“I want to leave everything to my wife; my house, my savings, my shares, my cars, my business, everything, on the condition that she remarries within a year after my death.”

“That’s a strange condition,” said the lawyer. “What’s your reason for it?”

“I want at least one person to be sorry I died.”

* "Tavern of the Seas" is a column written in the Cape Argus by David Biggs. Biggs can be contacted at [email protected]

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus

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