10 Basic Dance Moves in Our Love-Hate Relationship With Masks

By Andrea K. Hammer

During our third year of negotiating the pandemic, our on-again off-again relationship with wearing masks persists. Here are some of the basic expressions of this love-the-protection, hate-the-discomfort moves in this ongoing dance:
Double-handed mask scoop-up: This smooth, last-minute maneuver is executed quickly before stepping onto public transportation or violating the 6-feet social-distancing bubble. Only the well coordinated can pull off this swift action with a smartphone or other items in hand.
Half-mast under nose or chin defiance: This mask wearer ultimately signals resistance to safety precautions while halfheartedly appearing to conform. Prompting the desire in others to yank the coverings up for full protection, these not-so-subtle protesters are actually equivalent to those absolutely refusing to wear a mask.
Come-hither look with dramatically made-up eyes: Those missing the ability to flash bright lipstick have doubled their eyebrow and eyeliner intensity. Without full make-up and facial expressions in plain view, the eyes need to make all possible connections.
Pointing to hidden smile gesture: Short of wearing one of those masks with painted mouths, this weak attempt at cheer generally results in don’t-even-bother reactions. With few attempts to cover our pandemic exhaustion, many have allowed the social niceties to disappear.
Burrowed down under triple layers of protection: Despite the discomfort, introverts welcome the chance to hide behind two masks, a scarf up to their nose and a hat pulled low over their eyes. They secretly dread the prospect of ever needing to re-emerge.
Pacing in my lane on the station platform: Disguised as a way to get some exercise after years of being cooped up in the house, this “mindful” move actually conceals deeply rooted anxiety. In an attempt to kill time and alleviate the terror of boarding a train with others in close quarters, this rhythmic action wrestles down the fear.
You go-ahead attempt at courtesy: As a new version of the trying-to-get-out-of-your-way move, this feeble effort to reawaken old-time courtesy prolongs the lock-step. In a doubling down of the no-you-go-ahead gesture, both parties end up frozen.
Stepping into the street with a wave: This double move hedges the risk-taking bets. Opting for the danger of oncoming traffic versus proximity to a person on the sidewalk, the terrified passerby makes a polite gesture to soften the I’m-avoiding-your-cooties anti-social behavior.
Head swivel around back: After finally escaping an overcrowded and poorly ventilated train, this check over both shoulders promises mask removal and fresh air. Dirty looks are fired at anyone remaining in close range before masks are finally stripped off in a moment of freedom.
The Fling: This previously wild move, throwing caution to the wind, landed countless rejected masks on the sidewalk with increasing litter. With ongoing concerns about the pandemic, is The Fling the wisest move?
Andrea Hammer
About Andrea Hammer 283 Articles
Andrea Karen Hammer is the founder, director and owner of Artsphoria Publishing, Media Group & Shop ( Artsphoria International Magazine (; Artsphoria Movie Reviews & Film Forum (; Artsphoria: Arts, Business & Technology Center (; Artsphoria Event Advertising & Reporting (; Artsphoria: Food for the Soul (; Artsphoria Animation & Imagination World ( and Artsphoria Shop ( She is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer who has published articles in international publications.

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