A Simple Smile

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Social interactions have become much more interesting these days. There is just this wholly new level of complexity related to social distancing; how close should I stay? Should I put on gloves now? Is it appropriate to meet here? We have to think about things we've never had to think about before. Now that's fun, isn't it?

I do believe that wearing face masks is vitally important in preventing a second wave. Yes, they're not perfect; the virus can transmit through them, but overall they lower the chance. And it's always good to minimize the risks when dealing with a potentially deadly thing.

There is one, clear, social downside to masks though: we can't see our faces. Damn, I dropped a knowledge-bomb here, didn't I?

But think about it: how much of our communication depends on facial expressions? We don't think about this often, or at least we didn't, back before the pandemic.

A simple smile can make someone's day much, much better. A distressed frown can do the opposite. Communication is not just about words; it's our body language, facial expressions, eye movements. We speak through our whole selves.

It's one of those simple things we had, but we didn't cherish. Or at least, I didn't.

I mean, I like smiling. And for somebody from Poland, I smile quite a lot - the default "Polish face" looks very stern, trust me. But I never considered smiling, or any facial expression for that matter, to be crucial in my communication. I almost always only cared about words, only to later realize how nonsensical this approach is.

I don't know why, or exactly how, but every single social interaction now seems so precious, so full. I mean, even talking to the hairdresser was so freaking enjoyable. And talking with my friends in person? Damn, that was just a blessed experience.

Some things have been reset. Some rules have changed. Some things will remain limited for a long time. But every thing deserves to be cherished.

Because even a simple smile can be taken away.


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