Mask or no mask? Follow the flowchart and find your pandemic persona

(Ross May / Los Angeles Times; Getty Images)

You’re wearing a mask so much these days you can be anybody you want to underneath. But just like that mask, the superhero alter ego you choose will work only if it’s a good fit. To help you on your quest (or at least keep you entertained for a few minutes), we’ve created a flowchart to guide you toward the outsize pandemic persona closest to your own.

(Getty; Ross May / Los Angeles times)

Here are the details on each persona:


Super Spreader

Congratulations for being the hands-down supervillain of the pandemic! Instead of embracing science and fact, you’ve burrowed into the deepest recesses of the internet and enthusiastically embraced conspiracy theories and hoax cures. Your superpower? The ability to turn an international medical crisis into partisan politics in less than two months with a couple of social media posts. You can easily be picked out of the crowd you’re definitely in by the mask you’re not wearing.


Harried Home-schooler

You’re a shape-shifting superhero with the uncanny ability to morph from work-from-home employee of the month to teacher to loving parent and partner in milliseconds. You can be easily identified by the eyes in the back of your head and the super-absorbent mask that can quickly be repurposed to dry dishes, soak up a spilled sippy cup or blot the tears of a teen deprived of the prom.

Sergeant Supply

A reformed doomsday prepper with a new purpose and penchant for spreadsheets and a connection who works at Dale’s Military Surplus Supply. You buy everything in bulk, stack toilet paper like cord wood, have three Instacart orders going at once and, before the coronavirus chaos, had planned out (and shopped for) three square meals a day through 2022. Your cape is a repurposed paratrooper parachute, and you can make a mean drink by straining Aqua Velva through white bread.


Social Chairman

You derive your power from conviviality and cocktails, the latter sourced from the liquor store so close you could probably hit it with a martini olive — but that would be a waste of a perfectly good olive. Your mask is the color of merlot. Your weakness is the sound of a cocktail shaker, and the only sources of entertainment that have held your attention since this pandemic started are the movie “Cocktail,” reruns of “Bar Rescue” and that Instagram video of Stanley Tucci making a Negroni.


DIY Diva/Divo

If it can be pickled, sewn, baked or gifted, you know how to make it from scratch (and probably already have). The source of your superpowers isn’t clear, although the prevailing theory involves Martha Stewart, MacGyver, the professor from “Gilligan’s Island” and a hot glue gun made from a palm frond. You smell slightly of the sourdough starter you’ve been known to drop on your neighbors’ doorsteps under cover of darkness (and occasionally of the hand-milled lavender soap you made last year).


Not all heroes of the coronavirus pandemic wear capes, but they do all wear face masks. The easiest way to identify one of the millions of mostly faceless, nameless essential workers — not only the front-line responders, doctors, nurses and pharmacists, but also the women and men manning grocery store cash registers and delivering food to our front doors — is by the employer-issued masks (most likely N95 respirator-style ones), leaving creases on their faces after hours and hours of putting themselves in germs’ way.


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