To wear a face mask is the new normal.
It doesn’t matter whether we use N95, surgical, or rewashable masks, as long as we cover our mouths and noses.
But are these the parts we intend to protect and hide?
Before COVID-19 existed, we have been wearing invisible masks to conceal different parts of ourselves. Now, face masks not only protect us from catching the virus, but shield us from facing the following realities.
We wear a face mask to suppress our fears and anxieties.
This piece of cloth provides us a sense of safety and security. It shields our mouths and noses from the virus-carrying droplets.
It feels bare without a mask. We don’t fear its absence, but the possible effects of not wearing one. Catch the virus, get sick, transmit it, and die. The possibilities are endless.
We use it as a shield to say our opinions.
Wear a face mask and be a law-abiding citizen.
We have done our part. Now, the government must give us the goods and services we need.
But in reality, most of the departments disappoint. We get frustrated with the slowness and lack of urgency. They seem not to know what’s really important and waste our time during the quarantine.
Our masks give us the advantage to disguise our identities. They have become our license to curse, demand, and complain.
People have the right to express. But some voice out under a mask to avoid responsibilities and consequences. Our masks shield us from the backlash of our opinions.
We put it on to justify our greed.
There are some seated in power who wear a face mask to disguise greed.
Some in government lack transparency, and some corporations do not pay their employees the right benefits. Instead, they publicize their humanitarian efforts to mask their wrong practices and insufficiencies.
But not everyone is greedy. Kind-hearted people still exist.
We wear a face mask to brush off our helplessness.
For most of us, face masks symbolize helplessness. We can’t do anything with our current situation.
As we brave the streets and cross paths randomly with people, we quietly wish to stay home, remove the masks, and feel real safety. But we also need to put food on the table.
We are helpless, and only our masks can help.
We mask our loneliness.
When my grandmother died, my mask helped me to cry better.
Sometimes, I felt safer to grieve.
The mask witnessed my grief, especially when no one was watching. It caught my tears and bore their weight.
Masks may conceal our loneliness during the pandemic, but still, they can’t end the pain.
Wear your masks with wisdom.
In the end, I still choose to wear a face mask. It’s part of our new normal essentials.
But beware of the other masks we put on: money, power, achievement, and fame. With them, we conceal our weaknesses, brokenness, and sins we commit against God.
We have identified ourselves with these masks, but they continue to separate us from God, the One who knows what we really are.
And now, God invites us to take off these masks. No need to fear the virus or death. He wants us, just as we are, humbled down before Him, unmasked.
Because in Him, we can be vulnerable and safe at the same time. No need to hide in fear and shame. We don’t need to wear a face mask.