Saturday, June 26, 2021

Still Life with Robin: The Downside to Lifting the Mask Requirement

by Peggy Robin

We should be celebrating the DC Is Open! Letter from the Mayor and the lifting of mask requirements for the fully vaccinated. And seven days in a row without a single covid death in DC (daily reports available at This is all to the good!

So what’s my complaint now? Trust me to find some minor but irritating needle of bad news in this haystack of good news. What is it now?

Mask litter.

Now that I’m getting out and about a lot more, I’m noticing it everywhere. Mostly it’s those disposable blue paper masks. People leave them on the grass, and on the sidewalk, and sometimes in the bushes. Who is ditching their masks by dropping them on the ground, not even bothering to walk to a trash can? I'm not sure. Even worse are the occasionally tossed cloth masks. I've seen a few of those, as well, left in an alley, or near a sewer, or in a tree box in the mulch. People used to pay good money for these things, like ten or twenty bucks. You’d think, having lived through a once-in-a-century pandemic, they’d hold on to them – if only to show to their grandchildren one day as a grim souvenir of the pandemic that swept the nation. 

Some of us, having seen yesterday's warning from the World Health Organization on the dangers of the Delta variant, are keeping ours in case the masking requirements come right back: 

No matter whether they can be used again or not, there's no excuse for leaving a mask on the ground. There are enough bugs to bedevil us now, without these litterbugs! 


Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.  

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