THERE are a great many things about the pandemic that won't be missed, and those all are far too obvious to list.

Among my own, more minor clutch of themes I'll be glad to see the back of, is the way coronavirus legislation has been open to interpretation throughout the crisis and how the wriggle room left by ambiguous guidance has led to confusion, squabbling and behaviour shaming.

One thing, though, that has been consistent and easy to understand is mask wearing. It's mandatory and here's a list of where you should wear it. Simple.

Well, simple until the First Minister makes a slip up and then suddenly we're back to goal posts shifting and bending as though Salvador Dali was trying to capture a football game.

Nicola Sturgeon gubbed it right at the end. She went indoors to a barber shop and wasn't wearing a mask. It doesn't matter how close to the wire it was, the legislation still had another day to run and she did the wrong thing.

Ms Sturgeon apologised and she was spoken to by Police Scotland.

That should really have been the end of it but then, there's always wild whataboutery around these things. There were people quite genuinely suggesting that Ms Sturgeon should be fined in the same manner as Boris Johnson for no other reason than to keep things fair, as though failing to wear a mask then apologising for it is on a par with attending lockdown parties and lying about it.

And then, to take us back to that pandemic-long problem of people interpreting the guidance to suit themselves, Professor Jason Leitch was on the wireless yesterday morning with an unusual take on Ms Sturgeon's slip up.

"My understanding," the national clinical director said, "Is it was a matter of seconds, she realises the place is crowded, puts her face covering on, which is actually what we're asking people to do."

Was that what we were being asked to do? Did mandatory mask wearing depend on the number and density of crowds, rather than the location? It's what we're being asked to do now, but on Saturday, when the First Minister had her mask off in the barber's, it was not.

The big question now is of whether people will continue to wear masks on a voluntary basis or not. That remains to be seen, of course, and we can look forward to more anecdotal evidence as absolutes as the situation reveals itself.

People are either adamant that "no one" is wearing face coverings any more or that "everyone is" depending on what they see on their own morning commute or up the local high street. Facts be dammed.

I went into a takeaway shop in Glasgow's west end on Sunday night and was only one of two people from a grand total of 11 who were wearing a mask.

Two of those 11 were staff members and at least three of the others seemed to be particularly well refreshed with their thoughts clearly far more on chips than viruses. Which I couldn't get too upset about. Is it showing my age to say it was nice to see young people enjoying themselves after so long?

That position, of being pleased to see young people having fun, will be too relaxed for some, unconscionable for others and just about right for others again.

That's the issue with personal choice - not everyone is going to agree. With mask wearing, the UK, in its constituent parts, has really had its ups and downs.

Across the piece we've been variously told that there's not enough science to support mandatory mask wearing; that mandatory mask wearing is a vital tool in fighting Covid-19; and that we can ditch the masks in some places but not others.

I've spoken to health professionals who are evangelical about having the public wearing masks and spoken to others who think it's all a nonsense due to the number of variables involved. Are people washing them after every use? Be honest... are you? Changing them with every wear? Not touching them while they're on? Rates of complete compliance are not going to be 100%.

Studies of the effectiveness of face wearing come down on various sides too. So what to do, now the rules have been replaced with guidance?

Well, the simple and complicated answer, is to do what feels right for you.

I travelled through Denmark into Sweden earlier this month and immediately noticed the absence of masks in Copenhagen airport. It was so strange to see people's bare, breathing faces again.

Throughout the few days there I kept reaching into my pocket for a mask every time we went into a shop or restaurant, just out of sheer force of habit and much to my Swedish friend's bemusement. For plenty of us, habit will reign and we'll keep the masks. For others masks will be a comfort against the anxiety of mixing again, or felt as a real safety need.

Some folk will be metaphorically burning their masks as a symbol of freedom and normality.

The biggest adjustment, now the law has changed, will be of learning to live and let live again. Some will cover up, some won't, and the best way to move forward to a place of greater normality is to accept that without fury or judgement.