Yesterday I had to go to the pharmacy. Theo (my almost two year old Bassett Hound) had discovered and chewed up my last pair of reading glasses and I needed to purchase a new pair or two. I got two pair because it’s only a matter of time before I inadvertently leave them in reach of my puppy and well… they aren’t much good after he has them in his mouth for a while.
So I went to the pharmacy to find reading glasses and printer paper. There were few people in the store and none of them had masks on, even the guy at the register. He was very helpful showing me where the paper was, but I was dismayed he wasn’t wearing a mask. I was wearing mine. I’ve had several people make masks for me now and have a variety of colorful, protective choices. I almost asked him why he wasn’t wearing a mask, but decided I didn’t want to prolong a conversation with him.
Why wear a mask? Is it to protect you the wearer? Is it to protect those around you? Is it to keep you nose warm? Is it a new fashion statement?
I would suggest that wearing a mask is a good way to love your neighbor. You remember that Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12: 31). The CDC began recommending wearing cloth face masks in early April, not because they provide sufficient protection for the wearer, but because they provide protection for the people the wearer comes in contact with. The CDC found that there are too many of us running around with COVID 19 with no symptoms at all. So when we go out in public we can easily infect those around us because we feel just fine. Additionally if you or I are coming done with Covid 19 we may not have symptoms for several days, and the chance of transmission to someone else is terrific if you are not wearing a mask. If you are wearing even a simple cloth mask, however, you prevent any infected droplets from being transmitted to someone you are near. When we wear a mask, we love our neighbors – anyone we come in contact with as we move about Elkhart and beyond.
I know many people in the culture just don’t understand the purpose of wearing a mask. When I wear one I suspect people just think I’m afraid I’ll get sick. I try to not think about what others are thinking about me and remember I am called to love my neighbors, all of them, because Jesus asked me to love them. So I wear a mask.
Masked but not dangerous, 😊
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