Photos: Masks and gloves – Our Covid-19 calling card

Miguela Xuereb

Criminal Investigators have a term for it: the Calling Card. This is a piece of information, usually an artefact, which identifies the criminal. It can be a unique way of stealing or killing or it can also be an item. In the 2004 movie Ocean’s Twelve, the “Night Fox” leaves behind an onyx fox at every robbery.

As a nation we are less poetic. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic we too are leaving calling cards. After a frantic, almost desperate, search for masks and surgical gloves, these have become the calling card for a society that observes cleanliness up to the confines of the house. Beyond the front door, all’s game unless we are persecuted (at least that is how we see it) by fines and general enforcement.

Having amassed the gloves and masks, feeling relatively safe, we are now throwing used disposable gloves and masks on the streets as soon as we’re done with them. Litter bins? Why bother.

The littering of gloves and masks can be seen mostly outside of supermarkets and on pavements. This is a clear testament to an “I’m all right, Jack” attitude. However, the virus does not stop at the shop entrance. So, before throwing away your latex gloves once you have shopped, think: Have I left the virus inside or is it still around me? Can I reuse these gloves? Will I make the world an even sicker place?