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Why I wear a mask

     I may be slow but something just occurred to me yesterday. I was leaving the store, cautiously heading straight for my car in my mask, as friend I haven’t seen for months was heading into the store, sans mask. We generally hug but that awkward moment passed as he said, “You should’ve seen the shirt I was wearing yesterday. It said, I put the ‘germ’ in German and on the back it says ‘I survived the Covid hoax.’” I offered a weak chuckle as I finished getting in my vehicle, sanitizing my hands and overall resealing myself back into my safety bubble away from the world.

     As I drove away I wondered and thought about the comment to me in my mask. It was as if the remark were being made to a person who also was not wearing a mask. I realized there are people who think I am an idiot for wearing a mask.

     It occurred to me that when I see people without masks and think why are they not being protective of their neighbors, they think I am being foolish and have fallen for some manipulative plot from a mysterious entity.

     I’ve been talking to the dog mostly, and she hasn’t expressed an opinion one way or the other on the topic of masks, I just ASSUMED she agreed with me, but I can see now that I have been close-minded to think so.

     It must feel awfully uncomfortable to watch your friends and fellow townsfolk wander around with masks and gloves on all the while feeling a bit sorry for them in their gullibility. “Dumb hucksters, look at them in their masks, avoiding people and conversations, boy are they going to feel silly when the truth is revealed.” I wonder.

     I tried to think of any comparison. First I thought about people who believe in God telling people who don’t believe to pray just in case. Some people go for that; I’ve heard them say so. I wonder if hoax-believers would be willing to wear a mask, just in case. It doesn’t seem so.

     But I don’t think I will feel bad if by some wild stretch of possibility the whole world has joined together in a giant rouse just to see if “they” can trick “us” into wearing masks by saying it may protect our elders. I would even be glad to have fallen for such a trick if it were onebecause it might mean that I care more about my fellows than I do about how I look or my personal comfort today.

     True, some pretty strange things HAVE happened, but 9.7 million cases in the world and 493,687 deaths? Just on the chance that this is real I would wear a mask; I would do anything to help if I can. But I don’t think this is a hoax and I really don’t see how anyone else can, but I will ask. I will ask my friends and try to understand, because this is not over. I don’t want to make my neighbors or family members or favorite musicians sick, and I sure don’t want anyone to die because I’m not sure if wearing a mask or social distancing is really necessary.

Mari Erin Roth


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