9 reasons why wearing a mask or face covering can actually be pretty great

Many of us have been donning masks and face coverings voluntarily on the weekly shop for some time.

They’re already mandatory in shops and public transport in the Republic and in Northern Ireland the decision on whether to wear face coverings in shops is still under review.

If you are able to use one, wearing a face covering can take a bit of getting used to at first, but once you’ve got into the habit – and aside from their role in helping reduce coronavirus transmission – there really are some positives…

1. You can skip wearing lipstick

… and save on foundation and blusher too. In fact, wearing a mask means you could continue the lockdown joy of not having to bother with wearing make-up at all.

2. They double as an accessory/crafting opportunity

You can get super creative with fabrics, patterns and colours, matching homemade masks to your outfit, or even your scrunchie (yes, face mask and scrunchie sets are now a thing). Plus, they’re so light, you can carry around multiple options in your bag.

3. No one will notice if there’s stuff stuck between your teeth

You can eat as much corn on the cob and herby salads as you like this summer, without constantly having to check in the mirror for stray bits.

4. You feel a little bit like a superhero wearing one

You’re fighting coronavirus rather than crime, there’s no cape, and it’s your mouth and nose rather than your eyes being concealed, but Spider-Man, Catwoman and Batman would still be very proud.

5. A giant spot on your chin is no longer a problem

Same goes for cold sores and chapped lips – wearing a mask is the equivalent of wearing a hat when you have a bad hair day.

6. They can be a great way to make a statement or support a charity

Be it by wearing a mask with #BlackLivesMatter embroidered on it, buying one designed to raise funds for charity (like artist Ai Weiwei who created 10,000 masks in aid of Human Rights Watch, Refugees International and Médecins Sans Frontières), or donating a batch you’ve made to be distributed at a local food bank, these scraps of fabric can really make a difference.

7. It doesn’t matter if you’ve run out of toothpaste…

…or misplaced your toothbrush and need to pop out and buy a new one. Your mask won’t give you – or your breath – away.

8. You feel bonded to other people wearing them

There’s a ‘we’re in this together’ spirit involved in putting a mask on, and then acknowledging fellow wearers just using your eyes. Government guidance also points out that face coverings are “largely intended to protect others, not the wearer” – meaning wearing one is a small but tangible act of kindness and consideration, one that contributes to your community.

9. You don’t have to fake a smile

Spot a neighbour you don’t like all that much? With a mask on, you don’t even need to pretend to make an effort. You could even happily mouth swear words at people who really annoy you and they’ll never know… Also, wearing masks should really cut down on passersby shouting, ‘Cheer up love – smile!’