I’ve almost completed the first week of the fall semester, and that means “Dr. Anthony Masketti” now has a tiny familiarity with teaching while wearing a mask.
The biggest challenge: My breath inevitably works its way up my mask and fogs my glasses. (And anyone who knows me knows whenever I take my glasses off, egad! Mr. Magoo and I would get into all sorts of mishaps if we prowled the streets with no specs!) I haven’t been counting the number of times I take my glasses off so that the air can defog them, but I’d imagine it’s once every 5 or so minutes.
An inconvenience? Sure.
A problem? NO!
Nothing during this academic year is going to be normal. Come to think of it, nothing in our country is going to again be normal until we’ve got a proven vaccine that can fight coronavirus, and it’s been distributed across the country.
Let’s be optimistic and say both of those happen before the end of the 2020-21 academic year. If that’s the case, then, maybe, we can again enjoy teaching with no masks and get rid of the myriad and necessary precautions we see throughout higher education this year.
If wearing a mask is simply an inconvenience to you, too, then you’ve got nothing to complain about. Any wailing and gnashing of teeth will especially look silly, not to mention inappropriate, when your situation is compared to the millions of Americans who remain unemployed.
Furthermore, publicly criticizing your employer for allowing on-ground instruction to continue means being insufficiently concerned about the millions of dollars your institution stands to lose if all courses are forced to move online and students are sent home. If we’ve been paying attention, then we know there’s real potential for many colleges and universities to permanently close because of the staggering financial losses they’re incurring.
We’re in a war right now. The enemy is a pandemic. If doing your part to win the battle means following common sense guidelines, then suck it up and do it.
Just be careful about getting too close to me if I need to take my glasses off. I might not see you until it’s too late!