New Pandemic Fashion Unmasked at Tenafly High School

Liam Tenenbaum, Staff Writer

Masks. Once a nuisance, but now a familiar component of our daily lives, masks are a true symbol of the progression and struggles through the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you use the infamous powder-blue surgery masks, the elegant KN-95, or the tacky reusable cotton mask, everyone understands the slight discomfort of wearing them from the occasional time you forget to bring one, or not being able to unlock your iPhone with face ID. Although some people have unwavering faith in wearing the mask, others have cracked under the pressure, and in result of this, a new wave of mask-wearing techniques have been created. Although this can happen anywhere, the focal point of this article is Tenafly High School, home to many of these mask-wearing rebels. After seeing these marvelous adaptations to COVID-19, I knew I had to keep track of them, so this is my journal logging all my new discoveries, similar to Jane Goodall’s experiences in wild Tanzania.

Subject 001: The Snout

A leader amongst the Tenafly High School mask-wearing rebellion, the Snout displays his nose proudly, jutting straight above where the mask should be, revealing himself as a true dissident. Loathed by teachers, the Snout lays low, moving through the shadows of the hallways like a crocodile, avoiding teachers by all means. Whether you support the Snout’s strange longing for anarchy, or are annoyed by his nonchalant breaking of simple rules, the Snout is a classic of the rebellion, inspiring many other mask-wearing techniques.

Subject 067: The Sleeping Beauty

Fulfilling the dream of every high school student, the Sleeping Beauty catches a few extra Z’s during class, utilizing her mask to sleep soundly. The Sleeping Beauty is apathetic with regard to rules, respect of the teacher, and all general school ideologies. Comfortably placing her mask over her sleep-deprived eyes, she snoozes away, ever thankful for the opportunity given to her from the pandemic. While the Sleeping Beauty is a rogue at heart, you can’t help but understand her measures as she gets the extra hour of sleep you so desperately wanted.

Subject 042: The Chin Diaper

The Chin Diaper, a technique mastered since the early months of the pandemic, has stood the test of time as a favorite method of evading proper mask wearing. Mask under the chin, with absolutely no covering of the mouth or nose, the Chin Diaper is the definition of a sorry attempt, showing no care or consideration for mask-wearing. Whether they do it for chin-strap type support, to hold snacks, or whatever imaginative intention they come up with, the Chin Diaper is truly a sight to see, highlighted by their utter disregard for safety.

Subject 114: The Earring

Undoubtedly the fashionista of the group, the Earring wraps his mask around his ear, displaying a beautifully crafted piece of jewelry. Symbolizing a two-carat diamond pair, the Earring transforms a cheap two-dollar surgery mask into an elegant masterpiece. I mean, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” has never been more true.

Subject 089: The Hair Tie

A true imagineer, the Hair Tie displays her resourcefulness and knack for practicality by tying her hair neatly with the given materials. Ponytail, bun, mullet—nothing is outside the capabilities of the Hair Tie. The latest rage hitting the hair products market, the Hair Tie demonstrates just how much masks have changed the possibilities of hair arrangement. 

Subject 135: The Vending Machine

A master of delusion and loopholes, the Vending Machine takes advantage of the ability to lower his mask when eating or drinking. Somehow always managing to have something to eat, or something to drink, the Vending Machine slips away from the rules, as he gets to enjoy a tasty treat. If you ever see someone being confronted about his lack of mask wearing, and he presents a strategic water bottle to say that he’s “drinking,” it’s safe to say you found a Vending Machine.

Subject 178: The Slingshot

Similar to a hunter in the wild, the Slingshot carries out stealthy and coordinated attacks on the unsuspecting members of the masked ecosystem. Living in an “eat or be eaten” society, the Slingshot loads his found weapon, and searches for his prey. Using the elastic properties of his mask, he shoots rocks from the courtyard, grapes from his lunchbox, or other crud from his backpack to terrorize his surrounding environment. Stay clear of Subject 178, for the first time you see him may be the last.

Subject 202: The Hazmat

The Hazmat is no joke when it comes to safety. Covering themselves with a multitude of masks, they feel comfortable under their many layers of covering. Achieving the glorious 100% protection, they put hand sanitizer companies to shame, with complete protection, all the time. A survivor, a genius, a lunatic, the Hazmat goes by many names, yet their influence to the masked ecosystem is irreplaceable.

No matter what kind of mask wearer you are, or just an explorer like me, know this journal well, as it can guide you through Tenafly High School’s ecosystem, and may eventually come to save you. And although the story is humor based, please wear your masks properly so we can all move on from the pandemic together! Stay safe!