Politicians, the unkind suggest, spend their professional lives hiding behind masks, lest ghastly intentions be revealed.
And so it has come to pass.
Parliament House in Canberra was a-swirl with masks as politicians, parliamentary staff and the media mixed for the first time in months, fear of a pandemic infecting the rarefied air and suppressing great egos.
Who was grinning; who was scowling and who was practising the art of factionally-aligned whispering? No one could tell.