Pray for the citizens of Saxony, Germany. The region became the first in Germany to ban the practice of simultaneously wearing face masks, sunglasses, and hats. Saxons must now choose between risking death at the hands of COVID-19 or subjecting their eyes to damaging UV rays. This could be the beginning of the end for humanity.
This is no laughing matter. We have been told for the better part of two decades that going outside without a good pair of UV-blocking sunglasses is inexcusable. After all, there are no valid reasons to expose the eyes to natural sunlight. It is just too risky. But then coronavirus made its debut. Suddenly, nothing else compares.
Driving With a Mask
The mask-hat-sunglasses ban in Saxony applies to people driving vehicles with passengers from more than two households. Imagine you are a German worker and head of your local carpool. Three other coworkers commute with you. Your coworkers can wear masks, sunglasses, and hats all they want. You cannot.
You have to wear the mask because the law says so. You are not allowed to wear a hat or sunglasses because doing so would hide your identity from local police. So you must expose your eyes to UV rays despite being told for most of your adult life that doing so could lead to photokeratitis, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and even cancer.
The powers that be in Saxony have decided that driving with a mask is more important than driving with sunglasses. This, despite the fact that your chances of surviving coronavirus exposure are exceedingly high. Saxon leaders have chosen your lungs over your eyeballs. But hey, they truly have your best interests at heart.
Please Turn Off the Cameras
At issue is the fact that Saxony’s road safety cameras cannot identify drivers if general facial features can’t be recognized. And of course, we all know how critical such cameras are to preserving the future of mankind. Where traffic is concerned, the absolute most important thing is that the police can spy on drivers via a network of safety cameras watching their every move.
Perhaps, at least for now, they could get with the coronavirus times and turn the cameras off. Masking everyone is more important than reducing traffic crimes. So is protecting our eyes against ultraviolet rays. Things like speeding and failing to signal a lane change pale in comparison to COVID-19 and macular degeneration.
Sunglasses and Facemasks
The new edict in Saxony seems a bit over-the-top. Treating it with sarcasm is the only way to illustrate just how inappropriate it is. But in all seriousness, wearing a facemask along with a pair of sunglasses does create some issues.
Safety cameras notwithstanding, completely covering the face does prevent us from picking up on one another’s facial cues. That can inhibit communication. It can also encourage mistrust and fear. If we cannot see one another’s faces, we are more likely to be suspect of one another.
From a more practical standpoint, Utah-based Olympic Eyewear says that facemasks can interfere with seeing through a pair of sunglasses clearly. As warm, moist air being exhaled escapes from a mask’s edges, it can condense on plastic lenses. This can make it nearly impossible to see.
We have been told for years that sunglasses are critical to eye health. Over the last 12 months, we’ve also been told that face masks are life-saving devices key to stopping the spread of coronavirus. Unfortunately, some of us now have to choose between our lungs and our eyes. If one has to be risked, which should it be?