Do you smile behind your mask?
As I walked down each aisle in the grocery store, I noticed how COVID-19 had transformed our lives. Each person was wearing a mask. Some would lock eyes with people as they passed. Others would just keep walking without acknowledging others around them.
I couldn’t help but notice the unwavering silence that was in the grocery store. I watched people scurry past each other with a sense of uneasiness and fear.
I reminisced about what it was like to go grocery shopping before the pandemic. People used to smile and say hello to each other. Even when my daughter was a baby and her mouth was covered with a pacifier, we still knew when she smiled.
But as I placed apples in my shopping cart, I noticed that people were picking their groceries without the cordial “small talk” or smiles I once experienced.
I decided to try an experiment. As I sauntered down the aisles, I made a point of smiling behind my mask to each person I passed. I nodded, I excitedly said hello, I waived, and I also placed my hands together in a namaste pose.
People reciprocated! I learned that we should always smile when wearing masks and facial coverings. As I smiled with each hand waive or a friendly namaste poste, they returned the smile. I could tell they were smiling behind their masks.
People have struggled with isolation and anxiety during the pandemic. Many of us are missing the warmth of a handshake, or the connection in a hug. Common bonds bring us together, so it is important to make that extra effort when wearing a mask to say hello and greet people with an obvious smile behind our masks.
In this world of COVID-19, even though our nose, mouth and chin are hidden behind our masks, we can still feel people smiling. Our eyes, eyebrows, and body gestures communicate friendly messages to those around us. And if you get someone showing wrinkles at the corner of their eyes, that person is super ecstatic. So, smile behind your mask. And be proud to show your eye wrinkles too!
Blog Author: Gaby Mammone
Gaby is an award-winning business executive recognized as an advocacy leader in the charitable and not-for-profit sectors. She writes blogs for many publications in the topics of adversity, communication, diversity and inclusion. As the founder of the kindness movement, #BeAwareBeKind Gaby is on a mission to cultivate kindness globally. Gaby is the Past President at City Centre Toastmasters, and current Treasurer of Club 6288.
Gaby can be reached at: