Reinforcing Mask Mandate leads to increased levels of Maskfishing, Study finds

Hayley Leopold, Contributing Writer

Do you currently have the same nasty cough as half of Bucknell’s student population? It seems like the entire campus has become infected, except many have misdiagnosed their illnesses as “frat flu” when they actually have COVID-19.

This past Monday, Bucknell reinstated its indoor masking protocols after the CDC reported Union County as a “high risk” location for COVID-19 transmission. Students were outraged, anxiously searching their dorms for the one mask their moms forced them to pack “just in case.” 

Although there was no increase in COVID-19 cases over these 3.5 days, something else on campus experienced a spike. No, it wasn’t just fraternity jungle juice. Maskfishing, which is basically when someone looks more attractive with a mask on than without one, is a serious offense; PSafe is so passionate about stopping it, they offer a $50 reward to students for each maskfisher they turn in.

Students began reporting one another to PSafe at astronomical rates, causing Bucknell officials to lift the mandate only 81 hours after being reinstated. 

Psychology major Breigh Ni was particularly fascinated by the events that occurred. She decided to conduct a study amongst the Bucknell student population to determine how the maskfishing became rampant in such a short period of time, and her findings were nothing short of groundbreaking. 

Ni sent an anonymous survey to all of Bucknell’s students that assessed their behavioral changes resulting from wearing masks again. Although most students responded that they wore their masks below their noses or simply did not wear them at all, there was a select group that indicated wearing masks. This group was unphased by the feeling of sweaty disposable masks pressing against their noses and restricting their breathing with each inhale, enjoying the deja vu that came with it. These students also basked in the anonymity that their cloth barriers provided them with. In doing so, they found a new confidence to approach people in their classes whom they had never spoken to before. 

Of those who reported wearing masks, 84% reported that they obtained three or more Snapchats over the course of the week. Non-masking students became infuriated when the person with the gorgeous eyes and perfectly sculpted eyebrows that they met in class turned out to be a solid three. 

One anonymous, non-masking respondent wrote, “I was really vibing with this girl from econ who I didn’t recognize, so I gave her my snap. She turned out to be mad ugly.”

Another added, “I was gonna ask this guy to come chill in my dorm who I just met today in calc. We started snapping after class, and now I’d rather hook up with our 64 year old professor than hook up with him. Our professor is bald.”

Ni has finished compiling the results, and is now in the process of submitting her study for her honors thesis.

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