Pastor Note #96: Why I Wear a Mask, My Badge of Love


DSC07299eFor me it is quite simple.  I wear a mask because I don’t want to make anyone else sick.  I wear a mask to protect the people around me.

The Covid-19 virus, like most other respiratory viruses, is spread mostly by tiny droplets of saliva and mucus that come out of our mouths and noses when we breathe heavily, when we speak, when we sing, when we cough, when we sneeze, when we laugh out loud.  Simple paper or cloth surgical-type masks capture most of the droplets of saliva and mucus as come out of our mouths in the normal course of life.  If I have the Covid-19 virus (and I certainly might), that simple barrier keeps me from spreading the virus to other people around me.  That’s why I wear a mask.

My mask is not a sign of fear.  My mask is a sign of love.  I wear my mask because I love you and don’t want to risk making you sick.  My mask doesn’t do much to stop viruses from getting into me, but it does work pretty well at keeping viruses from getting out of me.  That’s why I wear a mask.

The Covid-19 virus is in our community.  That fact is not in question.  So, I could be infected.  Today is May 21.  It will be May 31 before I can say for sure that on May 21 I was not infectious.  I can never know at any given moment that I am not infectious.  So, just in case, I wear a mask to cover my respiratory openings in order to limit the amount of virus I might be spreading.  That’s why I wear a mask.

If today I develop a high fever and a deep hacking cough and test positive for Covid-19, that means that for the past week or more I have been contagious.  If I have NOT been wearing a mask during that time, that means I will have been spreading the virus around every time I spoke, coughed, cleared my throat, laughed out loud.  If I have been wearing a mask during that time, I may not have spread the virus around much at all.  I kept most of the people I encountered much safer.  That’s why I wear a mask.

“MY mask protects YOU.  YOUR mask protects ME.”
Senator Pat Toomey

For some reason, some people think that I wear a mask because I am afraid of them.  But that’s completely wrong.  I wear my mask because I love them.  I wear my mask because I want to try to keep them healthy.  They laugh at me for that.  I really don’t enjoy wearing a mask.  It’s hot.  It fogs up my glasses.  The elastic makes my ears stick out.  It’s uncomfortable.  But I’m willing to put up with that for the sake of the people around me.  Jesus tells me that I am to love my neighbor.  Wearing a mask is one simple way for me to do that.  Some people make fun of me for it.  But I can put up with that for their sake and for Jesus’ sake.  To me a mask is a badge of love for my neighbor.  And that’s why I wear a mask.

© 2020 Gary A. Chorpenning; all rights reserved.

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