Recent Poll finds College Friendships Dropped by 20 Percent Following Relaxed Masking Policies

Maximus Bean, Senior Writer

With the new semester off to an encouraging start, students are now allowed to remove their masks when they are outdoors. While this new rule does not apply to indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status, our local statistician has discovered something interesting regarding a connection between this policy and college friendships; according to a recent poll, friendships have dropped a staggering 20 percent! While this is already apparent, judging by the title of this piece, I have nevertheless decided to investigate and find out why this is occurring. I started by asking around on campus, but nobody recognized me because they weren’t used to seeing my nose and mouth. Of course, the other possibility is that they didn’t recognize me because they didn’t know who I was, but that’s ridiculous. I am a perfectly respectable journalist, and nobody can tell me otherwise. 

Some guy came up to me as I was valiantly trying to find the truth on this matter, and I didn’t know who this person was. So, naturally, I just kinda faked it until I made it (like with most people). However, that conversation, though short, gave me a realization: what if the reason that all these friendships dropped was that people simply didn’t recognize each other! It sounded insane even as I said it, but what hard-hitting news journalist wouldn’t pursue the truth? Sure, it’s been a whole year since anybody has really seen anyone on campus, but suddenly seeing a whole different face-filled person underneath that oh-so-precious sneeze-stopper? It would be nothing short of a culture shock at this point in the pandemic. After all, is it hard to believe that since we’ve seen the tops of people’s faces for so long, we wouldn’t recognize them if we saw the whole picture at once? 

To test this theory, I went around campus and tried asking some people on the street. I asked: “Why do you think friendships have dropped 20 percent after the decrease in mask usage?” After recovering from the pepper spray and the numerous rocks thrown at me, one person came up to answer my question.

Anne Neesia replied, “Uh, who are you and why are you talking to me?–Oh yeah! Sorry, I didn’t recognize you without your mask.” Anne said that she relied solely on the patterns on people’s masks to recognize them. “Cow mask? That’s Jamie. Flowers? Sally. Grass-Green? That’s Prof. Tautman! Those blue medical masks? Well there’s Christine, Guiseppe, Sam, Billiam, Anastasia, Mike…” As she went on with her long list of friends (or at least the ones she remembered), I couldn’t help but wonder at how many other people differentiated their friends this way. As someone who generally remembers faces more than names, it seemed truly bizarre to me. However, I suppose when you only got to know the top half of a new friend’s face, you had to compensate for it with something.

Thus, in short, my hypothesis was proven correct. Although some critics (colloquially known as “squares”) may disagree by saying the sample size was too small, I will counter by justifying that my position was correct the entire time and technically my stance has complete unilateral support from all parties involved, those two parties being me and the person I interviewed and me. Since it was unilateral, it essentially means the same thing as everyone agreeing! So if everyone agrees with it, it must be right! It would be foolish to assume the outcome would have been any different had I asked a larger sample. In conclusion, friendships are for the people who know your face, and people who disagree with you are silly and dumb. Hard-hitting journalism for the win!

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