Out and about, we pass by each other in the streets, grocery stores, banks, airports, subways, parks, restaurants and work places masked up attempting to protect ourselves and others from the deadly Covid-19 virus. Masses of flesh, kinetic energy rushing through life–being, doing and moving on to the next thing with a sense of uneasiness and suspicion.
Trying to hold it all together. Looking where we’re going (sometimes), but not really looking at each other. We took so much for granted before. Who knew we would be up to our necks in a science-fiction portrayal of life? Cloth sheaths add mystique around our very existence. No smiles or affects; no expressions visible. Emotions undercover.
“Consider yourself lucky if you recognize familiar eyebrows, a body shape or a signature gait.”
Hidden faces detached from being human; no touching or hugging. That’s my Achilles Heel; I miss all the bear hugs and cheek kisses. Air fist bumps don’t do it for me. All of us are trying our best to do activities of daily living; mundane things in an eerie, unsettled, abnormal ways!
We’re reminded around the clock that this pandemic has shipwrecked normalcy and routine; exacerbating anxiety, depression and hopelessness. Killing over 300,000 Americans. Worldwide deaths hover 1.6 million.
“Only nine months ago, masks weren’t a second thought– not part of our vernacular or a grab-and-go memory set. But now, they’re not only plastered on our faces, but impregnated into our brains.”
Remembering to keep them stocked in our homes and cars took some getting used to. They were typically associated with the fun and revelry of Halloween and Mardi Gras; surgical doctors and nurses and lowly bank robbers. But not now! They have become part of our attire, our armor, our symbol of unity against an enemy that doesn’t discriminate against age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or geography.
“But to be honest. I can’t lay this human detachment on the wretched doorstep of Covid-19 and mask mandates. Nope. Many of us having been donning masks for decades!”
The only difference ? They aren’t blatant cloth covers. No, the presentations are much more covert. Fakery and foolishness, to be exact.
We hide behind pain and lies; not speaking up and telling folks how we really feel about intolerable behaviors– afraid to upset the apple cart or step out on our own. We cower behind insecurities, not trusting our inner strength and abilities to reach for the sky beyond our fears–reticent to push internal boundaries. Shrinking into piles of nothingness and shame. Freedom only shows up when we have the courage to reveal our legitimate selves. Until then, the masks will continue to be accomplices of deceit.