Masks, banks, and something I never thought I'd need to say on Jan. 1: Should I take my mask off?

Masks, banks, and something I never thought I'd need to say on Jan. 1: Should I take my mask off?

If my private diary had categories the way this blog does, I think every year would have a category called I Never Thought of This Until Now. Tonight will have the first entry in that category for 2020.

I had to go to the bank for the first time since the public advisory to wear masks on our faces in public. It’s been a couple of weeks, but with little shopping, the main thing that drove me to the bank was the need to get quarters for the machines in the laundry room. So off to the bank it was, with a mask made of a soft pink-and-white bandanna and two ponytail holders to hold the fabric across my face.

The thought came to me on the bus: I was going to the bank to make a withdrawal, and I had a mask over my face in order to do it.

One of the bankers walking around the office — a big one, since my usual little branch is closed — said hello to me calmly and reacted with gentle concern when I said I had a question.

“Should I take my mask off before I go up to the teller window?” I asked him.

“Yes,” he said, and he gently encouraged me to look at the people in line for the tellers — six feet/two yards apart, but unmasked.

I released the pressure on my ears, stuffed the bandanna mask in my coat pocket, and smiled at the banker as I thanked him.

Everything went calmly at the window. I got only the money I asked for, no more, and walked over to the door of the bank.

I put the mask back over my face and walked away through the quiet mid-afternoon traffic.

Just another day in 2020.

Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.


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Filed under: Expressions

Tags: 2020 visions


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  • 1. I bet it hadn't dawned on you to ask the bank guy whether you should have removed your gun, nor that during the pandemic that guns are selling almost as quickly as toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
    2. It has dawned on me to question why most of the security camera shots at TCF Bank at Jewel are of the crown of the head instead of eye level. Also that maybe I should find a place to get a ski mask,except that Target and Walmart are probably the only potential places open.

  • 1. It didn't need to dawn on me. I don't carry a gun and I wouldn't. I'd be too likely to shoot my own foot.
    2. At eye level, yes, cameras would get more faces than they do, but I've seen pictures of faces from the higher cameras -- and I have to really look for where they are. I think hiding them is the better view. As for ski masks, don't they usually leave a hole for the mouth? It doesn't seem like they would be right for protection just now.

  • Last point appears well taken, although I suppose I could wear it backwards. But then I suppose I could wear a hoodie (which I do have) backwards.

  • In reply to jack:

    I wouldn't recommend wearing a hoodie backwards, Jack, if you want to stay upright and avoid broken noses. (Hmm, almost typed broken noises, which I suppose would happen, too.)

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Some high school thug took care of that decades ago.

  • I had to go to a bank earlier this week and the same thoughts crossed my mind. Good thing that it was closed except for the ATM vestibule. Turned out that was good enough to handle my transaction and they didn't care about my mask.

  • In reply to Howard Moore:

    That's good, Howard. I still like going to human tellers, especially lately.

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