I have never enjoyed my picture being taken and while many will call it insecurity, I just like to believe it is because I am a private person.
Then came the introduction of Snapchat and I knew without a doubt that this app was created for me.
Snapchat, launched some eight years ago by software engineers in America was known as “Picaboo”. It is an app that will make videos and pictures available for a short period and disappear.
Well, as time went by, Snapchat introduced enhanced features, such as animated cartoons in 3D and photo filters which enabled users to add special effects to the pictures and videos they took with the app.
Obviously, this was the reason I fell in love with the app. I could finally take pictures without showing my face. I could have the nose of a bear, the ears of a donkey or just ‘make up without using make up’. Snapchat could do all that and more.
And then, there was the fancy nose-masks, my personal favorites. The nose-mask gave an interesting effect which fascinated me. I could take dozens of pictures with that filter; either to post on my whatsapp status, share with friends or just keep in my phone gallery.
My best friend hated it. Whenever she asked me to take a selfie with her, I quickly opened to Snapchat. ‘Not this’, she will say. ‘Can’t we take pictures with the normal camera?’.
Well, these days, the nose-mask has moved from being a Snapchat photo filter, to an actual life saver.
As we all know, the World Health Organisation has mentioned that droplets from a COVID-19 patient could ‘hang in the air’ for a few hours.
So in addition to the washing of hands, sanitiser use and social distancing, nose-masks have become a preventive measure in fighting COVID-19.
Indeed, wearing of nose-masks has become a law in Ghana, and without it one will not be allowed into certain places and/or accorded certain services.
Now, when we come together to take pictures, I don’t need to select a nose mask filter from Snapchat because our faces are already half covered.
She will not leave her room without a face mask and I can’t help but smile whenever I see her trying to ‘rock’ with the mask or get one that matches her outfit.
Because the wearing of these masks is foreign to us in Ghana, and as part of efforts to adapt to it, Ghanaians have found creative ways of wearing it; fashionable cloth masks.
It is now common today to see people making mask wearing a fashionable venture, with some people going as far as wearing a nose mask made out of the same fabric as their clothes.
The Food and Drugs Authority has released guidelines on how to make an effective reusable nose mask with cloth, and this has given people the advantage of being safe and stylish at the same time.
In fact, I actually lookout for these trends whenever I step out. I love the fact that people are protecting themselves, but I enjoy seeing my friends have fun while doing it.
The fight to end COVID-19 is not a short term effort, it will continue for months, years….Who Knows?
But if we will need a real-life Snapchat filter to help us prevent it, then we will do it in style and swagger here in Ghana.
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