Who hides behind that mask?

“Behind every mask, there is a face, and behind that, a story.” Marty Rubin

Modern times can be disconcerting… Since childhood, we have learned to identify individuals by their facial features, but now that (almost) everybody is wearing a mask, this recognition has become a little more difficult. Donning such a garment today can be annoying but is eminently necessary. Not doing so is considered selfish and unsociable.

If you feel bored and frustrated though, this would be the best time to indulge in some mischief… like robbing a sex toy shop, go on a graffiti splurge, or expose yourself to some reactionaries. While wearing of a mask, you would be a little more difficult to identify.

For some people, wearing a virtual mask comes naturally, especially for individuals in the limelight. The character they project publicly is often at odds with their true nature. Many politicians and entertainers fall into this category. In public, they appear engaging and debonair, but in private they drop their nice-guy masks and revert to their not-so likable disposition.

“Villainy wears many masks; none so dangerous as the mask of virtue.” ~ Washington Irving

“The Japanese say you have three faces. The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends and family. The third face, you never show anyone. It is the truest reflection of who you are.”

 Masks are nothing new. They have been used for a long time, notably in Venice, Italy. In the 14th century when the plague was ravaging Europe, physicians were wearing a rather bizarre garment looking like a large beak. It was filled with various herbs thought to protect you from the Black Death. Nobody knows for sure how effective it was, but it looked scary and induced fear.

Today, even though we are supposed to be better educated, some people object to wearing masks. They talk about their “inalienable rights” not to do so. Some people’s beliefs can be seen as weird and even threatening. Like the right to parade publicly with automatic weapons. Very few civilized countries allow this kind of nonsense.
In America, running around with a knife is considered dangerous and threatening, but sporting a large caliber AK-15 capable of mowing down throngs in seconds is not.

But fortunately for masks haters, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. Various vaccines are emerging with the potential to stop that dreadful pandemic. But even with the promise of immunity, there might be a long time before people feel free to hug and smooch. The familiar handshake, not used for months, might even not survive. In the future, some entrepreneurs might come up with an app that will do this automatically for you.

In the meantime, if you want to remain in my good graces, wear the damn mask!

Alain

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