Yesterday, President Zuzana Caputova of Slovakia had to appoint her new prime minister. He, by the way, is Igor Matovic of the — wait for it — Ordinary People and Independent Personalities party. I know nothing about them, but the sheer regularness of the name makes me want to start my own moment called the Non-Science-Denying Non-Asshole Party and see how we do.
Anyway, if this moment had to be documented — she was handing over some documents that I guess may not have been purely symbolic, or else perhaps she could have e-mailed a PDF — then props to Zuzana for going the extra mile to make her COVID mask match her dress. It’s sassy. And it’s a small thing, but it’s also somehow very big? If she’d worn one of the other masks, would anyone be paying attention to Slovakia’s transfer of power today? Doubtful. But because she did this, it draws attention to a world leader taking care even when executing what I hope was a 30-second duty. She’s given us a portrait of politics in the time of a pandemic that is going to be used everywhere. Even though they are not standing six feet apart — at least they are not facing each other, and they look like they’re touching for as little time as possible before they jump apart — she has on gloves AND face protection, as do the two men. And all eyes go STRAIGHT to her. Far from looking like a gimmick, she is the power center of this photo, taking care of goddamn business. There is something soothing here. Her eyes say, “Yes. I did this. I f*ck around with neither fashion nor public health. I got this shit done and I am going to get ALL THE OTHER SHIT DONE TOO.” Mostly, I appreciate her for giving us all a smile today at a time when smiles are in short supply. Now I wish I knew how to sew.