By Allen Hamrick
Masks – the very thought of wearing one fuels questions as to why. Not too many people, regardless of the world’s situation, want to hide their chiseled looks and destroy their natural beauty behind one. How can we get along without seeing someone’s mouth move? We have to see the whole face. It’s kind of like wearing the mirrored sunglasses; a person can be the biggest coward and put on a set of mirrors and suddenly become the baddest person on Earth. With a mask, a person swiftly becomes invincible to anything airborne and untouchable.
Masks have their own persona that indwells the wearer and automatically makes that person recede into their own world. Masks often provide a facade to hide behind to feel safe in an otherwise unsafe world. They have been used since the beginning of time and often spawn thoughts of bandits, masquerade balls, Halloween, executioners, pirates, and most anything evil. Masks have been made from just about any source you could name from wood to feathers.
However, our world as we know it has forced us to hide our pretty faces for the good of the people as a whole. We have become a society that can now wear a mask in a bank or credit union without eating pavement or explaining what we are doing with that bank bag in our hand. Nobody knows who is who, friends now pass on the streets and don’t even recognize each other. People interact more with others because the mask takes away the fear of meeting someone new. Masks are a weird but needed thing.
Masks have also become a fashion statement. No longer are they the standard hospital mask or dust mask but works of art. People from all walks of life are making them IF they can find the materials. Materials of choice are one hundred percent cotton, one hundred percent silk or a combination of both. Alas, both materials are becoming as hard to find as day old smoke. People are having to guard their clothes lines as thieves are making off with underwear and t-shirts, it’s no longer the toilet paper crunch but the Fruit of the Loom factor. The idea that everybody needs a mask has passionately fueled capitalism. While, yes, there are those that have given their time to donating the masks they make, for others it is a cash opportunity.
The fact is though, all kidding aside, society dictates that we wear a mask so that this COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t destroy us. We are in a war against something you can see only after it has dealt its blow. People are dying, and pride has to be put aside for the common good. No, we may not like wearing them, but fashion is making them bearable. So, do we not wear a mask so that we can prove to the masses just how tough we are, or do we wear them to defeat an enemy and get back to normal? It is like a cancer – if you let it go long enough, no matter how rich or poor you are, you can be brought down with a single sneeze. So, get a mask and protect yourself and others and make a fashion statement while you are at it. Like Granny used to say, “If you’re gonna have to do something, good or bad, make sure you look good doing it.” In any time of peril we, as a people, embark on, it is purely not enough for individuals to depend on themselves at such a time. We have to do this as a state or we will fight this for a long time and lose much more than we can ever know.