June 20, 2020

I Don’t Wear a Mask for Me. I Wear a Mask for You.

COVID-19 has swept away over 459,402 souls globally, and 8,699,098 are infected.

Many people are frozen in a state of horrific grief and loss. They have had to helplessly watch their loved ones take their last breath from a computer screen or cell phone. People are dying alone—no proper burials, no more than 10 people allowed to attend. Mortuaries are overloaded and running out of space to house bodies and caskets to put our loved ones in.

Even worse, many in third world countries are forced to see the bodies of their loved ones. They have to witness them piled up, one on top of another, like cars in a junkyard. Human lives are perishing in multitudes every day. These images are splattered across the world news, shredding our hearts into pieces daily.

We feel helpless because there is nothing that we can do except sit in the pain. We can only watch as it all unfolds, and as the death count continues to rise.

Doctors and scientists do not know what to do. They have never seen anything like this. The closest study that may offer a thread of knowledge about COVID-19 is the Spanish Flu of 1917-1920. It killed 30 million people worldwide. It has a possibility of uncovering some semblance of an answer.

In the meantime, there are four things we have been told to do to protect ourselves and others in this viral war. It is a strong admonition that we must follow to save lives. 

The safest way to function during this pandemic war is: 

1. Wash your hands often.

2. Remain six feet apart for social distancing.

3. Cough into your elbow.

4. Wear a mask!

All four of these things might seem difficult to carry out because we are social by nature. No man is an island (even though some people are less social than others). Even those who deem themselves introverted, lone wolves, or hermit-like have found it challenging to live with these severe social constrictions for so long.

We have come to miss simple freedoms that we all took for granted. We yearn, ache, and long for human touch. Our souls need to embrace one another, our friends and family, without a threat of contaminating them or them infecting us.

The simple freedoms of spontaneity and being impulsive are gone. Everything we do now has to be measured, carefully structured, and shielded for protection. Even buying groceries or picking up your mail from your mailbox. Every item must be sprayed with disinfectant. Every time you go outdoors, you must spray your doorknob when you return home.

It never ends. But the other choice is taking the chance of contracting the virus. Since no one knows how to cure it and there is no vaccine available yet, when people contract the COVID-19 virus, they are playing Russian Roulette.

The virus has no age limit, racial preference, religious beliefs, or financial pedigree. Anyone can contract it, and they may or may not die. 

One woman contracted it, and she is 104 years old! She recovered and returned home and is feeling fine! A little five-year-old girl contracted the virus and died. There are no absolutes with this pandemic outbreak, and until there is a vaccine available, everyone going out into the world without a mask or gloves is playing a dangerous game! 

I will admit that even I am bothered by having to cover my face, wear gloves, and wash my hands every hour (the entire routine is grievous), but I want to live a long and healthy life. I want you to live a long and healthy life without the threat of a bullet going off because “I am tired of doing all this.” 

Some say it is a matter of choice—for me, there is no choice. I want to live. 

So, mister mask, you are my new best friend. 

I love life and people. I demonstrate that love by being responsible and following the guidelines. When I protect myself, I show respect to others and that their lives matter. Wearing a mask helps to shield and protect from the onslaught of random viral spray.

Yes, it’s inconvenient to have to wear a mask whenever we are out in public (especially around people who we know and love). It is also uncomfortable to wear a mask for several hours at a time. But the alternative leaves the door open for the virus to come in and kill. You can become a carrier of this virus without having any symptoms. While the young can put up a valiant fight, the elderly cannot wage the same battle. 

The mask is a simple shield of protection for one another’s personal space to be respected.

Unfortunately, the split views on mask-wearing have created a civil war. It has now crafted and beguiled many who see it as a political war between the Democrats and the Republicans. Some choose not to wear a mask because Trump refuses to wear one. This has furthered a feeling of civil unrest. We are dancing in the streets of chaos and COVID-19.  

Where is the love? This is a question that my soul yearns to know the answer to.

Wearing a mask is a symbol of not only the protection of oneself but the protection of others! 

Christ said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I live by that creed—I wear a mask.

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