An Ode to Masks

As a child, I dreamed of wearing a mask; something to obscure my identity while I followed in the footsteps of the heroes of my favorite books and save the world. This concept of being anonymous while also putting good into the world, it was an ideal dream.

As I got older, I continued in this dream. Superheroes became more and more prevalent in the world I lived in and I saw so many people suddenly in love with this idea I held so dear as a young one. The biggest movies in the world for all time involve these people who wear a mask while saving lives. We have become obsessed with these characters. These heroes. These gods.

And suddenly, we reached a time in our history where we could quite literally save lives by simply wearing a mask. I’ll admit, I was hesitant to follow along. Something about it made me feel like by wearing a mask I was showing fear for a little disease. Afraid of getting sick. This surely couldn’t be an opportunity to show strength, could it? And they’re uncomfortable. And I have to smell my own breath. And it gets too warm. And I don’t wanna!

But, slowly but surely, we become accustomed to anything new we add to our daily routine. And yes, for those of us who chose to mask up, it wasn’t really that bad. Besides, the pure joy of ripping off a mask as you step outside of a store can’t be beat, as you feel the fresh air against your skin and feel like a human again, while also reveling, just a little bit, in your superhero moment. You just saved some lives and not a single person even realizes it!

By all accounts, we don’t have much longer in which wearing these superhero-like coverings will save lives like it can and does today. We may very well have this whole mess of a pandemic in our rear view mirror before we have to switch over to our new calendar. Which means, it won’t be long before our time as superheroes is over.

It won’t be long before it’s not nearly as easy to do so little and actually save lives.

So, wear a mask. Save lives. While you still can.

Published by Adam Oster, Adventure Novelist

Husband, Father, Creator/Destroyer of Worlds

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