I recently saw a crowd forming at the square next to my residence. Curious as I am I decided to go closer to understand what it was all about. I put on my shoes, jacket, scarf, my sunglasses and my mask before I ventured out. I walked fast as I did not want to miss a thing. Maybe they were talking about vaccines and asking that vaccines be made available promptly. In that case, I did not want to miss being a part of that popular and necessary movement. Vaccines are needed and needed sooner.
Another part of me speculated that they were demanding equality and justice for people facing discrimination. Maybe they were voicing their support for Black Lives Matter. In that instance too, I had to be there. It is important that many people support this movement and there is no way I would not go.
So, I walked fast.
As I got nearer, I saw something uniform about these people gathering. None of them was wearing a mask. A gentleman was speaking into the handheld speaker and many were nodding in agreement. It did not take me more than a minute to realize that I was the odd one out. I tried to get closer to hear the person speaking and I noticed that the crowd was paying attention to me. They knew I wasn’t one of them. Not with my mask on. No amount of screaming and shouting would convince me not to wear a mask, so I made a quick exit from there.
On my way home I started thinking why I wear a mask. I wear it because I believe in science and I trust the authorities and health workers when they say that masks save lives. I would not want to be the reason for someone getting infected by the virus because I refused to wear a mask and was transmitting it.
Consider many advantages of wearing a mask such as these:
- Nose warmer: In the weather that Canada endures, masks are the best nose warmers. Without mask the tip of your nose would be getting a frostbite. It saves your nose.
- Less makeup: If you use makeup on your face, imagine the amount you save by just doing your eyes. You will either not need that lipstick or half of the foundation is saved.
- Smile or smirk: You can make any face you like without the fear of being ridiculed.
- Fashion statement: Your masks can make a statement. Whether you are supporting a small business or got it custom made, masks can be your way of telling the world to take note. Try those funky ones with weird skeleton or BLM sign on them!
- Tooth cover: If you have not been to the dentist in a while and your dentals need some attention, fear not, masks can buy you time.
However, whether you like it or not, the best reason to wear a mask is to protect yourself and those around you.
The authorities and health officials are doing their best to help Canada emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and we must play our part, as new immigrants, first-generation immigrants and as Canadians. What is asked of us is simple and straightforward – wear a mask, wash our hands, keep our distance, not break our circle, and get vaccinated when it’s available.
Why do YOU wear a mask?
Let us know in the comments.
This article was written by Meena Kaini.