Andrew Carter writes for the News and Observer on how wearing a mask became a political issue. In the piece, he describes how a group called ReopenNC recently organized a protest against current restrictions put in place by the governor. When a reporter asked a man at the protest to discuss his thoughts on wearing face coverings, he responded with a sarcastic dismissal.
“I can’t hear you,” said the man, who declined to give his name. “You’ll have to take off your mask.” When the question became louder, the man said: “It’s about freedom. Masks are about fear. That’s all you need to know.”
In Walking by Faith and Wearing a Mask, biophysicist Matthew Pevarnik explains why wearing a face mask now can be an act of Christian faith and has nothing to do with fear.
While I am not personally in an at-risk category, I don’t wear the face mask for me. I wear it for the 13 million Americans over 65 that live in multigenerational households who can’t just “cocoon away” while the rest of the population gets herd immunity, or for those that have or live with those asthma, chronic heart disease, diabetes, cancer diagnosed in the last year, hematological malignancies like leukemia and lymphoma, or had an organ transplant and more. What if my wearing a mask could have saved the life of a single mother of six who beat breast cancer? Scripture testifies to God’s special compassion for those that are the most vulnerable, for the poor or widows, or the foreigner in the land, and this is a small way that we look out for them, or metaphorically “leave our grain for the fatherless, the widow and the foreigner” (Deuteronomy 24:19).”
I have to admit, despite knowing that masks are more effective when worn by those who are infected to keep them from passing the infection to others, I often feel like I’m protecting myself when I wear mine. I’ll be wearing my mask anyway1, but it’s time for my thinking to shift to a mindset of protecting others.
Which is now a mandate in N.C., thank goodness. ↩︎