I was worried about wearing a mask.
What I would look like, what others would think, the kind of outfits I could wear. The stuff that doesn’t really matter at a time like this. My ego was louder than my common sense or compassion. And with the lack of masks I’ve been seeing recently, it seems like this could be a common thought.
So hear me out.
I didn’t wear one my first few times at the grocery store. And when I saw others weren’t wearing one either, it further justified my actions in my mind.
“I don’t have it. I’ve been in isolation. I don’t need to wear one.”
But the more I saw masks being made in our community, that it was mandatory for those still working, and the multitude of reasons behind why we *should* be wearing them—my perspective started to shift and I was able to push my ego aside.
I thought I was holding onto a piece of my freedom during quarantine by not wearing a mask, and I’ve heard others say the same. But what makes us think our freedom is being taken away when we’re simply asked to follow a few rules for the greater good, when we still have more freedom than a lot of other countries do?
Wearing a mask shouldn’t be about politics. The masks aren’t about you and your independence. They’re about unity—you protect me, I protect you. When we wear a mask, we are showing we respect each other while allowing science to catch up. We haven’t been brainwashed, and you’re not “uncool” for wearing a mask. If anything, it’s uncool to shame others for doing what’s right.
So I wear a mask as a badge of honor. As a symbol of my respect to those who have to wear one everyday. To protect you.
Kingston may be in the clear, but that just means we need to keep up what we’ve been doing. It would be disappointing for people to start travelling or inviting out-of-towners and potentially put us back at risk. Think smart. There will always be more summers. We have more time than we think.
This ain’t no time for egos, entitlement, or making fun of others for wearing masks to protect the ones they care about 🌈
Where to Buy Reusable Cotton Face Masks in Kingston:
Onderbroeks (where mine is from)
How to Wear A Mask (from the World Health Organization)
Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, wash your hands.
When removing, wash your hands before touching the mask and avoid touching the front of the mask. The front of the mask is contaminated. Only touch the ear loops/ties/band.
If washable, throw the mask in the wash. Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer. If disposable, throw it in the trash.
For more advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19
masks, click here.