KINGSTON – Less than one hundred and twenty seconds after venturing out into public without a mask for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started, 28-year-old Maddie Herbert has already been instructed to smile by a man she doesn’t know.
“It was a really big deal for me, being out without a mask for the very first time,” said Ms. Herbert. “I was just taking some time to really reflect on the moment, and to think about what it meant. We sacrificed so much to get to this point; when I was saying my final goodbyes to my grandmother on a Zoom call, I started to lose hope that we’d ever experience “normal” ever again. Is this normal? I stood out on the street listening to the sounds of traffic, and I thought, can any of us truly ever feel normal again? Are we doomed to walk forever in the footsteps of the ghosts of the people we once were?”
“But then some random dickhead told me I should smile more, so it looks like normal is back, baby!”
Several local men reported that they were looking forward to giving women helpful tips on smiling and looking happy in public.
“You’d think that women would be smiling more by themselves,” said 23-year-old Matthew Banks. “They’ve just had like the best year of their lives–they got to stay home and work full time while also getting to take care of their kids and help out with homework all day long. For women that’s, like, the dream. They should be smiling so much it hurts. It’s like, scientifically proven that women are prettier when they smile, but I guess girls probably don’t know that because they’re not as good at science. Maybe they just forget to smile on purpose because they like it so much when we remind them.”
At press time, several women could be heard shouting, “I think I feel a fever coming on! I have no sense of smell! I am short of breath!” as they slipped their masks back on and went about their days.