Ben O’Shea: Proper mask-wearing becomes Western Australia’s COVID pandemic IQ test


What do wearing a mask and the Holocaust have in common? Absolutely nothing, and to suggest otherwise is both ignorant and offensive.

But the fact that this comparison was made in a Perth cafe this week underscores how quickly wearing a mask is becoming the equivalent of an IQ test in our society.

Now, you’d think fitting a mask properly on your own face is a relatively simple task, but some West Australians find it harder than solving Fermat’s legendary Last Theorem.

At the risk of alienating the very people this column is aimed at – that is, people so stupid they can’t put a mask on their own schnozz – Pierre de Fermat was a French mathematician from the Seventeenth century.

He found an equation so complex that it remained unsolved for 357 years, until British professor Andrew Wiles deciphered it in 1994.

A mask worn under the nose, let alone under the chin, does NOT cover a human’s breathing holes

Compared to solving one of the trickiest problems in the history of mathematics, correctly affixing a mask to the front of the head should be a bit of a breeze.

Let’s do it together: find the bumps on the side of your head (aka “ears”) and attach a loop of the mask to each one (there should be two, in case you were wondering).

Camera iconBen O’Shea. Credit: Jackson Flindell/western australia

Now locate the protrusion with two breathing holes, usually located just above the hole in your head where the KFC goes.

Pay attention because this next piece is important: COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that spreads through droplets and airborne particles that a person exhales, particularly through the nostrils in the case of Omicron.

So a mask worn under the nose, let alone under the chin, does NOT cover a human’s breathing holes, and is therefore about as effective at stopping COVID transmission as it would be if you were using it. to cover the other hole in the body which occasionally expels gas.

Masks have limitations when it comes to protecting a person from COVID and should be considered part of a range of measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

But, since the mask mandate was reintroduced last month, mask-wearing has become an easy visual cue to who is willing to be respectful and responsible members of our community, and who isn’t.

Like a guy at a local cafe this week who said a staff member asking him to wear a mask inside sounded like how Jews were treated during the Holocaust.

Just so we are clear, the Holocaust was the Nazi regime’s systematic persecution and murder of six million Jews using brutal mistreatment, mass shootings, and purpose-built killing centers.

Being asked to wear a mask to order an almond milk latte and a BLT isn’t really the same thing, is it?

This guy clearly failed the mask IQ test, be sure to do better.


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