During the COVID 19 pandemic, at the hospital where I work, I have needed to wear a mask. Whether a tie mask or elasticised, they are compulsory for us to wear in ward areas and have become part of our everyday life.
- Masks protect us and protect others – If I should be carrying the virus, then wearing the mask protects you from what I could spread and vice versa. It’s a means of protection.
- A mask acts as a physical barrier. When worn correctly, it puts up a wall or a barrier between you and me.
- A mask is also a disguise, as now you only see my eyes. I have been on many wards and not quite recognised the nurse or doctor I am talking to as all I can see is their eyes!
In life, it’s so easy to wear a mask. When someone asks us how we are and we reply ‘yes I’m fine thank you’, are we wearing a mask? Am I in self-protect mode? Am I quite comfortable behind the barrier I have erected for myself? Can I wear my disguise in the hope that you won’t see the real me?
There are many reasons for feeling the need to retreat and hide and self-protect, and we all know times in our lives when we have done just that. Just as taking a mask off in a hot-spot area in our hospital is risky and makes you vulnerable, so it’s the same in life.
In this COVID-19 pandemic season we are in I wonder if we are all feeling a bit more vulnerable and a bit more willing to drop our guard. I have heard of many friends who are saving money on make-up – we are dropping our guard and letting you see us just as we are!
Have we let go of the things that don’t really matter so much and put ourselves in a better place for healing and restoration?
Maybe we can think about ways we have worn a mask to try and cover up and hide, and ask God to heal us and help us to be real and sincere in this vulnerable time, and if we do we will emerge stronger and wiser.