Just sayin’…

February 5th, 2024Just sayin’…

It's been a long time since I wore a mask but I did recently. It was on a little New Year break on a shortish flight to Queensland.

By Donna Kelly

It’s been a long time since I wore a mask but I did recently. It was on a little New Year break on a shortish flight to Queensland.

Covid was riding another wave and I thought “why risk it?” and donned my mask at Tullamarine. I thought I could just wear it on the plane and then when everyone had settled down, take it off and sip a chardonnay.

Wrong. I felt like I was on the Covid Express. From every corner of the plane came a cough or a sneeze or a snuffle. It was like an Emergency Room Orchestra, a splutter here, an ah-choo there.

If someone had started farting it would have made the trifecta. So I kept my N95 mask on for the two hours and decided to forego the beverage. If you know me, not an easy choice…

But it got me thinking about the pandemic. Not that I would ever want to go back there – and does it feel like a bad dream now to anyone else? – but some things were OK.

Wearing masks while shopping, for example. If you wore a decent mask, and in mid-winter, and let’s face it, mid-summer, a beanie, you were pretty much unrecognisable.

So you could do the whole supermarket run without a chat in sight. Bliss. Sometimes…you know what I mean.

Masks also meant you could have a glass of wine with lunch and still visit the doctor without the risk of being asked about your alcohol intake.

Of course that is no more than two standard drinks a day, with two days off each week. Of course.

And then there were the lockdowns. Boring yes but Kyle did manage to perfect two dishes, seafood linguine (thanks Claire) and a lovely ramen, he created on his own.

He only got it wrong once when he used a vegan chicken stock. Makes you feel better but just not the same.

I did not do the sourdough thing, too hard to keep feeding the stupid starter, but I did learn how to cook perfect baguettes. And I only burnt myself once.

We have a stock standard oven so I put a bowl of water in the bottom to create steam. Of course
I forgot when I opened the oven and out it blew. If you are interested, in the recipe not the steam burns, Google Chef John and baguettes.

We kept working so we didn’t get to clean out the pantry but we did learn that while you couldn’t buy chicken to save yourself, no-one wanted duck.

So that was a nice change from the tins of tomatoes and bags of rice I had stocked up on. I don’t
know why. Herd mentality perhaps.

There was also some time out which was OK. We got to know the characteristics of every magpie that landed in the garden – and even named them.

I think it was about then we started realising we were going downhill with our mental health. Sort
of kidding, sort of not. I mean, when Kyle calls out “hello, Uncle Bulgaria”, life has taken a turn for the worse.

Anyway, it’s coming up for our next vaccine, number five or six I think. I know a lot of people are not worrying anymore but what’s another vaccine in the scheme of things. It doesn’t harm anyone else so I just go along and get it done. And if I think I need to wear a mask I don’t mind popping one on.

I think on the plane about 10 per cent of the passengers were wearing them, which is about the same number of people who have not had Covid. Number crunching – anyone?

I just wish the people wearing the masks were also the people on the plane coughing and spluttering.

Yes it might be a summer cold but I don’t want one of them either. Just sayin’…

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