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Beware of those going ‘nose commando’ during COVID-19 pandemic

Perhaps wearing a face mask under the nose — as opposed to over it — is a political compromise. It demonstrates that you are neither a liberal nor a Trumpite.

A security guard stationed at the front door tells a woman to pull her face mask up over her nose before she can enter Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Ill.,
A security guard at the front door of Rivers Casino in Des Plaines tells a woman to pull her face mask up over her nose before she can enter.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times

By my count, 44% of the American people who wear face masks believe they do not have to be worn over the nose. That is using the same statistical base President Trump used to calculate that 99 % of coronavirus cases are harmless.

While waiting for takeout at my favorite restaurant, I looked into the kitchen and saw at least two cooks wearing their masks over their mouths but pulled below their nose.

A manager was standing about five feet away and said nothing to them.

Neither did I.

I am COVID-inhibited, meaning I think anyone crazy enough not to wear a mask — and wear it properly — is willing to kill family members and friends and therefore should not be confronted.

It would be like stopping a screaming person on State Street to ask if they are a madman or simply a stock trader having a bad day.

Yet, someone should say something.

For example, I was in a doctor’s waiting room with about 10 other people and all of us were wearing masks. Multiple signs on door entrances said, “You must be wearing a mask for treatment.”

Yet four patients were wearing masks below their noses. They were going “nose commando.”

A fourth fellow pulled his mask below his chin to take a cell phone call and, since he couldn’t be heard, he began shouting.

He apparently believed yelling into a cell phone would not spread his germs to other people, or he didn’t give a damn.

Someone in authority ought to say something about this.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is always telling people to wear their masks, but he almost never says anything about the people who go nose commando.

Back to my doctor’s waiting room.

I was about to approach the registration clerk and complain when I noticed that she was wearing her mask below her nose as well.

This made it easier to wipe her leaky nose on her naked arm.

Perhaps I am picky or have become too concerned about the spread of a deadly disease.

I mean, families throughout my neighborhood gathered together on this Fourth of July — grandchildren, parents, grandparents — and none of them seemed to be wearing masks. All seemed very happy.

Talk about laughing in the face of death. I lack such courage.

I worry.

I worry about the self-checkout counters in grocery stores. where people pull their face masks down below their nose and sneeze on the price scanners.

“Can you wipe this counter down?” I said to a store employee who seemed to be in charge of the self-checkout area.

“I will later,” she said. “It is looking a little icky.”

Yes. Technically, that’s what you would call it.

Perhaps the act of wearing a face mask under the nose is a political compromise, demonstrating that you are neither a liberal (who believes in Fauci) nor a Trumpite, who renounces medical science as blasphemy.

There are some people who insist they can’t breathe with a mask covering their nose and their mouth.

I say, “Prove it!” I want to see a few people pass out wearing a mask in the aisles of my grocery store before I am convinced.

Perhaps that sounds harsh. So is catching a virus, getting pushed onto a ventilator and dying alone.

If I were some sort of terrorist mastermind, I might send operatives onto commuter trains carrying a deadly virus. Then again, I could just post a few things on social media networks claiming no one really needs a mask, it’s OK to wear it below your nose and 99 percent of all cases are harmless.

My research suggests that 38 percent of Americans believe such bunk and there is a 99 percent chance the president will retweet it.

Please pull your mask up over your nose. Some of us will breathe easier.

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