The Masks We Put Over the Masks We Put On

The Byrds sang “Turn! Turn! Turn!” the lyrics from the apostle Paul’s letter to the Ecclesiastes (with music made famous I didn’t know by Pete Seeger!).

The season right now, in the part of the world I live in, is supposed to be one of celebration and gifting and food. There’s a strange feeling in the air of joy and freedom and festivities, mixed with the weight of the renewed outbreak of the omicron variant.  Let’s just get on with our lives, and deal with the effects later say our local political leaders, much to the chagrin of the health officials.  The exhaustion that medical professionals are feeling, behind the veneer of privacy for patients in hospital wards and corridors, is palpable – our several friends who work in healthcare tell us explicitly.

I saw today a lot of people unmasked while going about their day. A trivial inconvenience at best, two years of living under low level stress seemingly has made people mad at the virus, and not wearing a mask is the way of showing strength (?) at something that doesn’t care nor discriminate.

There’s an election around the corner and the politicians seem mostly interested in not letting this crisis go to waste, & feeding the collective psyche with ‘good news’.  The inability to go to hospital and be attended for something that is not covid related hurts a lot of vulnerable people who will be collateral casualties. But for the moment, ‘merry christmas’ is the only thing on our collective minds.

It’s a whole different kind of a mask we’re wearing instead of the one we need to.