Best New Hobby

Wearing a Mask

Staff Pick

There was baking sourdough and Tiger King and Zoom calls, but if there was any hobby people in St. Louis embraced en masse this year, it was wearing masks. St. Louis and St. Louis County passed mask mandates, meaning that when you go to a grocery store you can be reasonably sure you’ll only see people properly covering their face holes. (Though, folks, those masks are supposed to cover the nose, which, lest it be forgotten, is a part of the face with holes in it.) Now, masks don’t provide guaranteed immunity, but people refusing to wear them because they’re not perfect solutions — or citing a bout of brain worms as a “medical exemption” — ignores the best information we have on keeping infections low. It’s what the White House’s own COVID-19 task force has urged for months! It’s what Missouri Gov. Mike Parson encourages, though, not enough to pass a statewide mandate. In absence of that responsible government guidance, wearing a mask became part of the daily choices of millions of people who altered their routines to include the masks they packed in back pockets and cars and bags. The haters will say it’s the latest trend, so mainstream, so “supported by medical experts” — but it’s a hobby that will help keep more people alive. And in absence of Parson (or Trump) learning from their personal encounters with COVID-19, wearing a mask is a hobby we have every reason to keep trending. — Danny Wicentowski

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