Those of you old enough will remember an early television show called the Lone Ranger. He had several distinctive trademarks including his amazing white horse, silver bullets (one of which he’d leave behind after getting the bad guys) and a pretty classy mask. And at the end of every show, someone would typically ask, “Who was that masked man?”
Few knew but they’d then mention the silver bullet they’d discovered he had left. Was that a cool show or what?
As I now walk through public settings a little more frequently, I find myself looking over my shoulder asking a similar question, I wonder who that masked lady (or man) was. I think I might know her (or him). It’s not easy to recognize people now, even those we know well, when we can only see their eyes.
And to be honest, it’s rather sad, isn’t it, to have this distance put between us and those around us. We can’t see the smiles or looks that affirm. If anything we worry more about getting too close and being removed from the store because we broke the rules.
Hopefully, the masks will go before too long. At least down the road, the majority won’t be wearing one everywhere they go. But until then here are a few suggestions for making mask wearing a little less threatening and depressing.
One, don’t quit interacting with people. Yes, we have to keep our distance but you don’t need a megaphone to talk to someone six feet away. It’s Coronavirus, not Corona-voiceless! There are no laws against still talking to one another in a relaxed, positive way, even though we may need to speak up more than usual. “What? You’ve seen a mouse? Oh, you’re going to clean the house.”
Two, smile with your eyes. And in reality, that means smile like normal and your eyes will automatically reveal your pleasant demeanor. No, it’s not the same as seeing a full face – eyes, nose and big grin – but it’s better than giving off all seriousness, all the time, twenty four hours a day.
Third, be positive with the rest of your body. You can walk briskly, dance, shuffle, hum, sing, snap your fingers or become a mime. (Okay, skip that last one, unless your first name is Marcel). Too many people are still walking around as though their mayor just announced that the quarantine has been extended to the year the Detroit Lions win the Super Bowl. (Friends in Michigan – too much?)
My point is that we probably need to be willing to wear a mask for a little while yet depending upon our personal situation. But we can have some fun and bring a little joy to others while we’re still somewhat faceless.
And after you’ve helped make someone’s day and perhaps improved yours, it would be really cool if . . . yeah, you left a silver bullet laying around.