Quiz: What Does Your Mask Preference Say About Your Concentration?

By Zadoc I. N. Gee

Who knew six months ago we would need this quiz? Forget about the traditional Harvard greeting (name, year, concentration, then networking). Instead, hand someone this quiz or study it intently to size up people on your own with a glance. Your classmates probably don’t wear masks on Zoom, but you can practice near Widener steps or in your hometown where there are bound to be remote learners.

1. What level of protection is adequate for a walk?

A) Hazmat suit

B) Bougie Reebok masks

C) Mask in my pocket

D) Mask with nose clip so my glasses don’t fog up

E) No mask, baby! (btw, we are judging you if this is your answer)

2. How do you feel about going to the grocery store?

A) I refuse to leave my house

B) I get delivery

C) I can people-watch, yay!

D) I can mask-watch (so many kewl designs)

E) It is a necessary evil

3. Describe your mask style.

A) A safety device that covers my nose and mouth

B) Barely there

C) An extension of my personality

D) A cry for attention

E) A mask? What? (again, judging you...)

4. Other than protection from COVID, what benefit of wearing masks do you appreciate the most?

A) That’s a big “other”

B) No one knows what I look like underneath

C) Warmth

D) An excuse to craft

E) Style

5. Choose a mask to wear on a socially distanced picnic:

A) N-95

B) Disposable blue paper mask

C) Bandana

D) Homemade mask

E) Scarf (I haven’t purchased/made masks yet!)

The Results

Mostly A’s:

Congratulations, you’re premed (I mean, this probably means you're an MCB or Hist Sci concentrator with a Global Health secondary)! N-95 Masks are your go-to, and while they should be saved for doctors, well, you will be one one day! They filter out 95 percent of the particles breathed in (sounds just like your grade on that last midterm).

Mostly B’s:

You are an Economics or Government concentrator! You use and dispose of masks akin to how humans are treated under capitalism (snake!). Maybe try wearing a reusable mask occasionally (or you know, every day) to do your part for the environment.

Mostly C’s:

You must be a Social Studies concentrator! It is all you can do to not explain to everyone you meet how your protective bandana reminds you of the cowboys protecting themselves from dust or linking public health rules to Foucault’s panopticon theory.

Mostly D’s:

You’re an Engineering major! I mean, you must be, since you likely whipped out your sewing machine in early March and made masks for your extended family. Maybe you bioengineers can invent a mask as effective as N-95 for the common folk, or at least one that reduces maskne.

Mostly E’s:

You must be a Humanities student! Please put down that book about the 1918 flu pandemic, leave your ivory tower and go purchase a real mask so that you are alive to save humanity one day.

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