At the start of the year the terms “COVID-19” and “Coronavirus”, were new words used to label a new virus. This once obscure term that labeled an obscure virus would become a household name that would completely shape and define the new year.
Doctors provided the public with new information about the virus from it’s growing list of symptoms, rate of infection and steps the public can take to stay safe and most importantly healthy.
This virus, which some compared to the flu not only turned out to be deadly for many, would be a truth serum, a political stance and a term that would change life as we knew it.
Some people scoffed at the virus, but soon it would hold public attention as the death toll began to rise and pass wartime death tolls. Offices shut down and overtime cities shut down too.
Critical discussions about equity from education, to work, to pay, health and more became another main topic of public concern.
All the while doctors encouraged people to wash their hands like medical doctors do, wear a mask and social distance.
While these tactics proved to work, people struggled and in some cases tested the guidelines. Some states required mask and social distancing and others recommended them. The lack of making firm choices left it up to each state or city to take the fate of their community and the health of the community into their own hands which resulted in some states taking political stances over professional medical opinion.
I live in a state that recommends face masks, but does not require them. I live in a neighborhood where many people do not wear masks. Regardless of what the people around me are doing, I choose to wear a mask.
I wear a mask because I care about my health. I talk a lot about self care and nurturing yourself. To me, wearing a mask is an extension of self care.
I wear a mask because I know that I am not invincible and I can become infected.
The US is an individualistic country, however we are at a time in our life where we are being called to come together for the greater good for the community health and health and well being of black lives. That, too is why I wear a mask.
This time in our life we are being called to look beyond ourselves and move towards collectivism. I also wear a mask for my family, elders and others whom I do not know.
The world is bigger than you and me. My words and actions affect the whole and so does wearing a mask.
We are stronger when we work together. For some or many, this may be a new concept, but it’s how our ancestors have lived when we were hunter gatherers and lived in tribes.
We were designed to be in, live in and thrive in community and nature is reminding us that we are better when we work together.
Wear. A. Mask.