Friday, June 26, 2020
COVIDiary: The Masks
A famous Twilight Zone episode entitled "The Masks" deals with four very selfish relatives of a dying man. It's Mardi Gras time in New Orleans, and the old man requires that each of them wear masks that supposedly represent the opposite of what they truly are if they want to inherit his estate. They kick up a fuss and refuse to wear the masks, but they want the money so they end up indulging the old man's request.
I think of this episode every time someone complains about wearing a mask. Science (not an old dying man, I hope) tells us to wear a mask - not to inherit an estate, but to protect others from a global pandemic. These 21st century selfish whiners have the exact complaints that the mid-20th century Twilight Zoners had: "This is ridiculous!" "I can't breathe in this thing!" "You can't make me do this!" and so forth.
You can breathe in the mask. If I can do it, you can do it. No one is more claustrophobic than I am, but I've learned to be comfortable in my mask for hours at work and when I'm in public spaces.
The mask has to cover your nose and your mouth. Always.
You don't have to take off your mask to talk to someone. Hands off. Others can hear and understand you just fine.
Wash your mask every day.
Have a spare or two. Keep one in the car. Keep one in your pocket or purse. But don't forget to put it on around other people.
The lesson here? If you want the inheritance - in this case life for you and those around you, you have to wear the mask.
Now there's plot twist in that Twilight Zone episode (it's the Twilight Zone, duh) and the faces of those mask-wearers are changed by the masks they wear. Those hideous masks were outward signs of the selfishness they carried inside.
And your mask actually reflects who you are on the inside. Unlike the Twilight Zone, the only way your mask will affect your facial features is that it should put a smile on your face.
Don't be stupid. Don't be selfish. Don't be ugly on the inside. Wear a mask.