• Rachel Anne Baer


#masks #pandemic #covid19 #maskwearing #maskburning #whenwillthisend #batman #superheroes

When I think of masks, I remember Halloween parties, masked balls, fancy dress parties & superheroes. In particular I have fond memories of Batman, I probably spent hours watching the show with my brothers, on a black and white T.V. whilst growing up and again with my young sons who were enamored with the superhero, where good always overcame evil & life was restored to how it “should” be by the end of the episode. Oh, to be back in such a simple mind set.

One memory of a batman wanna be was more than a little scary, my eldest son & his best friend were at our home to play, at that time they pretty much lived in their batman pajamas (Bat suits) being around three years old they really believed that once the bat suits & accompanying masks were on their super powers were also activated. This was one of many times with young boys that I was grateful for the new windows & secure child locks we had fitted shortly after moving into our old Victorian house. My son’s friend Rhys climbed to the top of the bunkbeds and without hesitating launched himself from the top, absolutely believing he could fly with the bat suit & cape he was wearing.

From downstairs I heard the huge thud & then silence, followed by a howl. Running upstairs with my heart in my mouth, not sure what I would find……a young boy with a huge lump forming on his forehead!! They told me that they had tried the window to see if they could fly to the ground!! the bunkbed was quite high enough thank you…. The power, of lack of power the masks can provide.

We have enjoyed a couple of parties where masks were worn, at least for the first hour so, this was a choice, it was fun, an opportunity to be creative, my masks always consisted of glitter, sparkles & feathers. Any excuse for a bit of glamor.

There were scary masks of monsters on TV, masks that were worn in movies to hide disfiguring scars, Guy Fawkes masks, Halloween monster masks, the extravagant beauty of masks worn by the Egyptians and the obligatory cat mask with whiskers.

When I was a teenager, I remember watching a TV series with my dad, the subject matter was a pandemic, it was in the 70’s & the pictures that come to mind are of people in a grocery store pushing their shopping carts down the aisle, all wearing masks & some awful creepy horror show music playing in the background. Even at that age I remember the chill in my heart & my body freezing with horror. Could this really happen, surely not it was just a TV show, wasn’t it?

Here we are in 2020, masks are required to enter all stores & restaurants in CT & have been for the past few months. In many other states this is also the case, however not in all of them. Interestingly enough the states with no mask mandates appear to have the highest rates of infection & deaths due to Covid 19.

Masks have become the most hated and most purchased “fashion?” accessory or 2020. I personally have a few in my collection, a coffee themed one, several cat themed masks a Dr. Suess mask & a couple of pretty in pink tie dye ones bought on Etsy that fit really well.

It seems that the sales of lipsticks have plummeted (I am a rebel & still don’t go out without lipstick on – hey, I know it’s there) while eye make-up sales have rocketed as women make an effort to enhance the only part of their face that can be seen whilst out in public.

Masks have somehow become a political statement, how common sense and science can be flaunted this way is really a mystery. Truth seems elusive in 2020.

It won’t be anytime soon but I am hopeful that there will be a time when we can finally remove these awful masks that hide our faces so we can’t see people’s expressions which can create a feeling of tension and fear, not knowing what those around us are feeling as there is no way to guess their mood. It’s hard to tell from just the eyes if someone is smiling, one has to watch for a deep crinkling in the eye creases & perhaps an encouraging comment or conversation.

Personally I am planning for the day we can host a big party, the first large get together of many, I am already planning a huge bonfire along with a mask burning ceremony, perhaps it will coincide with Guy Fawkes night next year, unlikely but we can hope….

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