Roger M. Kaye
Roger M. Kaye
A retired physicist reinvented as thriller novels writer

Masquerade Ball

Who is Behind the Mask (Free to Use Photo by Pixabay from Pexels)

I have just read a book, Beggars Banquet by Ian Rankin. Published back in 2002 the writer was ominously prescient. I quote:

“He suggested going to the authorities, then realised what he was saying. The law was as effectual as a scented handkerchief against the pox.”

Could he have been thinking of the current attempts to stop the coronavirus with a paper mask, with no scent at all?

Recently, many articles, some learned some not, have been published on the subject of masks. Do they protect against the coronavirus or not? It should be a simple question but often the interested reader is left even more confused. We need to learn a new language. We are not familiar with the strange concepts of exhalation isolation and inhalation protection. (If you are waiting for an explanation, don’t hold your breath.)

A glance at the Internet does not help. There are some hundreds of entries ranging from the gas mask, all too familiar to us Israelis, to the Schimmelbusch mask, used to deliver an anaesthetic.

Some masks are good. Who would not want to wear a ski mask and zoom down a snowy slope? But the Man in the Iron Mask would probably have been happy to take his mask off.

We were all forced to mask our emotions when, back in 1982, we left Sinai, clutching our diving masks, for the last time. We should have worn a fencing mask while gazing forlornly at the newly constructed border fence.

There are probably many readers who have never heard of VLSM, Variable Length Subnet Mask. As I have a long acquaintance with VSLM, having found it on the internet a couple of minutes ago, let me explain.

VLSM increases the usability of subnets where the subnet design uses more than one mask in the same network for different subnets of a single class A, B, C.
No need to mask your delight, you now know as much as I do about VLSM.

Reports from the London Underground, the “tube”, show that wearing a mask is not enough to protect against unintended consequences. Several people have been injured while using the escalators, the moving stairways into the stations. Unwilling to risk holding the potentially covid-infected handrail, there have been several pile-ups of passengers.

And the title of this blog, A Masquerade Ball, is an event in which the participants all wear masks.

The Times of Israel editor only allows me one blog a day, but if I mask my identity, perhaps I can push this one in. Now, where did I put that stocking mask?

About the Author
The author has been living in Rehovot since making Aliya in 1970. A retired physicist, he divides his time between writing adventure novels, getting his sometimes unorthodox views on the world into print, and working in his garden. An enthusiastic skier and world traveller, the author has visited many countries. His first novels "Snow Job - a Len Palmer Mystery" and "Not My Job – a Second Len Palmer Mystery" are published for Amazon Kindle. The author is currently working on the third Len Palmer Mystery - "Do Your Job".