In the wake of all that’s happened the last three months, it’s a miracle beards are still standing.
If beards could talk—if they were independent, conscious forms of sentience—here’s what they’d be thinking right now: “Do you people think it’s fun having your relevance tossed around like we’re the current state of Hollywood content, or something? What, so we’re cool until it’s the end of days, when we go from cleavage equivalent to bacteria breeder? We always were and we always will be.”
And you know, the beards would be right in uttering such things. But would their arguments hold water in the courtrooms of science and reason?
All of this is to say there’s a reason beards would be bitter.
Wearing a beard took a hit two months ago when articles popped up online about beards harbouring coronaviruses. As if it wasn’t bad enough we had to worry about wiping door handles every minute. Now men are asking the Internet if their beards stow pathogens that could level humanity. In that CBC piece a couple lines up, Dr. Scott Weese, a veterinary professor at the University of Guelph who researches disease, was sourced as saying beards could technically store a virus, and if the wearer sneezes or coughs then “someone else happens to immediately kiss that person, there is a risk of transmission.”
The only problem is that same piece also asserts two contradicting premises before it gets to the Dr. Weese part. First, it says “no one knows for sure” regarding beards stowing viruses, but in the next line it reminds that “epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists do know is that the novel coronavirus can’t tolerate most environments, including beards.”
It’s this kind of confusion that’s become a byproduct of rampant misinformation online, and who can judge? These are uncertain times, and when there’s a novel virus creeping about, people are going to get scared, and then they’re going to ask questions like the one at hand.