During the month of April, I’m writing 30 Words for 30 Days: Thoughts from Six Feet Away, one topic per day. Find out why here.
We are entering the era of the mask.
If you took a picture today in many workplaces, or out in public or at a local store and sent an email back in time to February, the recipient no doubt would be like “what in the world happened?!!”
More than any other visual indicator today, the presence of masks everywhere tells you that something is different.
It’s, honestly, something that I’d seen many times in other countries and thought “we’ll never need to do that here.”
And yet, today will be my third day wearing masks at work along with my colleagues.
It’s a sign of the times and something we need to do to stop the spread.
It’s a small thing we can do to help. And make an impact.
To quote a famous Bane line from Batman – The Dark Knight Rises, “No one cared who I was until I put on the mask.”
Isn’t it Ironic?
What I find ironic about the masks, or at least interesting, is that the script has been flipped on the masks, at least for non-frontline-healthcare workers.
Usually, we wear a mask to protect ourselves.
Sanding drywall. Working outside or with sawdust.
Or take sports for example, with hockey goalies or gladiators.
Masks have usually been for self protection.
But now, with COVID-19, we’re wearing masks to protect others.
I don’t wear a mask to keep the virus from me, I wear it in case I have it without knowing it and to keep it from spreading to others.
It sort of deflates the whole machismo idea of “I don’t need a mask”, since it’s not about you… it’s about others.
For masks, this is their moment of glory, their time to shine.
Never has the word “mask” been mentioned more in press conferences, podcasts, blog posts and conversations.
There’s even a TV show that has to do with singing with a mask, apparently :).
Bottom line, masks have been waiting their whole lives to make a difference in the world, on a global scale.
I never even knew what an N95 mask was until all of this.
Thank You Front Line Workers
This brings me back to those who have been using masks to protect themselves and others.
The front line healthcare workers.
I’m so thankful for those who, months ago, had no idea what was headed there way, but are giving all they have to help heal, protect, care for and fight to stop this virus.
I know for many this means being separate from their families, isolated, exhausted, spent.
If you are in that mix, know that you are appreciated. We’re thankful for you and praying for you.