We are learning that to win our fight with Covid 19 we must social distance, wear a mask, follow the arrows, wash our hands and sanitize. Of these, it is the idea of wearing a mask that has captured my thoughts. Until now, I have recognized that masks of all kinds have played a part in our culture. Halloween, Indigenous ceremonies, the Comedy and Tragedy of drama, Hockey goalie masks and other face coverings have been familiar and easy to identify. In fact, since the beginning, humans have used masks to hide, disguise, change, and protect themselves.
Historically, the medical use of masks has appeared during pandemics and they were often worn over the nose and mouth as they are now. At one time, masks held spices and perfumes for protection from unclean air! Once we learned more about how diseases are spread, masks became a means to protect medical workers, patients and others from infectious diseases. Masks, similar to ours, were common during the Influenza Epidemic of 1918.
Without consistent information about the kind of mask most effective against
Covid 19, it is hard to know which masks are best. I have bought masks at the Drugstore, ordered some online, and have a few made by friends. I have gathered quite a variety including the common disposable blue along with cloth masks in solid colours, florals, and abstract prints. I am always impressed to see the women who have co-ordinated their mask with their scarves, hats and jackets. They manage to make quite a fashion statement!
I keep my supply of masks in a variety of locations. I have a couple in my car for visits to a store. I also keep one or two in my purse, but the largest bunch, I keep in a basket by the door. For some reason, the last time I reached for one, my “Ageless Mind” suddenly thought about “Eleanor Rigby” from the Beatles song. I was reminded about the less tangible masks we often wear. These, too, seem to be for protection, but are more psychological in nature.
According to the lyric, she kept her “face in a jar by the door”. When she goes out or stands at her window she presents a happy, contented face to the world. However, when she is alone at home, her depression and loneliness are revealed. The song’s chorus about “all the lonely people” seems to reflect the idea that our masks often deceive others about our true condition. But I digress . . .
Our unmasked facial expressions are important as we communicate with or without words. Hopefully, the real masks that we wear will not cause true meanings to be lost as we deal with one another throughout this isolation. Personally, I am looking forward to a day in the future when we can tear off the masks, smile and enjoy each other again!
Author: Granny C