This will be written in two sections and this is due to that there are two ways that we can visualize the idea of 'The Masks We Wear'. One of those has to due with the physical masks we are wearing during this pandemic and what they represent. The other is the figurative mask we wear when entering different crowds to blend in.
The Physical Masks We Wear:
Everyday as we go through this pandemic, the trend of wearing masks has been growing. Everyone seems to want to get in and on the "hype" by wearing a mask. But on a serious note, what do these masks represent? They represent a change in a sick world (both literally and figuratively). While masks are not a 100% protection against the virus, they do lower the chances of contracting especially when it is in an airborne state. But while mainly we focus on the idea of the degree of protection we get from wearing masks, we also must recognize the fact that could be a big step in the right direction for change on many issues that millions are worried about.
My reasoning behind this is the fact that the World Health Organization and National Health Systems put out the message of wearing these masks. With that they provided scientific data to prove the benefits and showing how it will help affect the outcome of this pandemic. The people listened and wore the masks, it may seem insignificant but it's not. For years people have nearly separated from the facts and science and did want to list to the facts provided by health officials and scientists. Then this virus came along, fear spread quickly along with the virus globally. So when people heard there was something to help protect them from this virus, they joined in and listened to the advice of medical experts. Could we be moving into another age where people regain trust with the experts and are further interested in the fields of science to stay informed?
Looking at this on a larger scale, if I am right with the fact that we may be entering a new era of listening to the experts, we could use this and apply it to other issues facing youth and society currently that will continue into our futures unless we act upon them. While climate change is the main one I see we can apply this to, I believe that we can use this for much more that maybe I don't recognize off the top of my head, or issues that haven't seem to have surfaced yet. But also with this we can utilize this to prepare for future pandemics. We ask the questions how can we prevent the spread earlier on and save lives? What can we do now to help prevent future pandemics of this scale? Like I said with this possible what I can almost see as a science revolution, the ability to get more widespread attention on issues like climate change could be a huge step in the right direction. We have been fighting for decades for action to be taken, and if we can get a general scientific opinion on the topic and tested ways that we can combat it. Then and only then with people listening to the experts, that we may begin to see real change.
For now though, we must share the facts provided about the current pandemic, and ideas and other things that can be useful to put out there in these times. While we cannot just put it off to the side, then after this is over we can begin to focus on making sure action is taken on climate change, prevention of future pandemics, and any other issues and topics that need to be discussed while including scientific facts and data.
It has been a cultural issue globally of not listening to the experts, and that has caused great harm. But now things may be changing, and we may start to see the change that we so desperately needed and maybe didn't even know existed.
The Figurative Masks We Wear:
We all know that we tend to talk differently depending on who we are with, whether it's family, friends, coworkers, etc. But it's not just how we talk, but how we act. I believe everyone one of us has been guilty of this at least once and can remember it. But it's not just how we talk like the words we use, but the way we say it, the way we walk, the things we do, and so many other small and large details that form what is almost this mask that changes depending on our surroundings.
We tend to want to blend in to our surroundings. So much so that sometimes it can have a negative affect. I have seen many times when in let's say a meeting, they are discussing a topic and ask for input but the room stays silent. It may not be because no one has input but rather the fact that they might not want to say that and stand out in the crowd. Some people will use this and exploit it to make sure that they get there way. That is why we must be aware of our surroundings and have control over what we will call the "chameleon effect" in reference to how they can blend in to their environments with a natural camouflage mechanism. We are like them in the sense that we want to feel like we belong and are safe and in doing so, we change how we act to adapt to our surroundings and feel comfortable in whatever environment we may be in.
We must be aware, and understand when to fight the urge of blending in like in times of injustice or things you don't have a good feeling about. We have all learned that there is a degree of difficulty of speaking while wearing masks. Now we can use that in this figurative representation to know when to take off the mask and speak up for what it right. If you don't do anything about it, no one else will. If you want change, then you have to be that change.
Wear your masks accordingly, stay safe, and keep being the change.